The real cost of drugs in the workplace

drug testing in the workplace should be an integral part of any business. It doesn’t t take an expert to understand that an employee who is intoxicated will be less productive, less valuable and less use to you than a sober one. But what are the real costs? Financially, how do drugs and alcohol in the workplace effect business success? What proportion of employees have been intoxicated at work? How does this affect you?

Here are ten cold, hard facts that employers should consider – they may make you realize just how important drug testing could be for the success of your enterprise:
  1. According to statistics from recent studies on drug abuse by American workers, workplace drug and alcohol use costs U.S. businesses an estimated $100 billion each year
  2. 75 percent of illicit drug users over 18, nearly 80 percent of binge and heavy drinkers, and 60 percent of adults with substance abuse problems are currently employed
  3. 8 percent to 50 percent of all Workers Compensation claims are related to substance abuse in the workplace, as substance abusers file three to five times as many Workers Compensation claims
  4. According to statistics of businesses from the U.S. Census Bureau, small businesses were most vulnerable and particularly disadvantaged by worker substance use and abuse
  5. Substance abusers incur 300 percent higher medical costs than non-abusers
  6. Substance abusers are 2.5 times more likely to be absent eight or more days a year
  7. Substance abusers are 1/3 less productive
  8. It costs a business an average of $7,000 to replace a salaried worker
  9. It’s a few years ago, but still relevant – the National Institutes of Health reported that alcohol and drug abuse cost the economy $246 billion in 1992
  10. About nine in ten employed current illicit drug users and almost nine in ten employed heavy drinkers worked for small and medium sized firms
If you are currently an employer who doesn’t drug test employees and those stats don’t cause you to rethink your strategy, then I don’t know what will. The bottom line is that employees who abuse drugs and alcohol will place a big dent in your profits. This is something no business will want to have to deal with, specifically the small businesses who are affected the most. While drug screening can be an expensive process, it will unquestionably save you money in the long term. Don’t wait any longer, get your employees screened now.]]>

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