Drug Abuse: It Affects Us All
Costs to Industry

The costs of drug and alcohol abuse on the job are staggering. Chemical abuse can lead to lost career opportunities, morale problems and job injuries. Federal experts estimate that in excess of 10 percent of all U.S. workers have used illegal drugs on the job. Three to five percent do so on a regular basis. And alcohol remains an even bigger problem in the workplace.

Chemical abuse leads to increased absenteeism and tardiness; inefficiency and lowered productivity; increased illnesses, accidents and injuries; higher medical claims; strained relations between workers; theft of company and employees' property to support drug habits; possible legal difficulties for employers; and domestic and financial problems for drug-abusing individuals. The problem also has been linked to security risks in some industries.

Drug and alcohol abuse costs U.S. business as much as $140 billion a year in lost productivity, accidents, healthcare costs and absenteeism. People abusing drugs and alcohol on the job have three to four times the number of accidents as those who don't.