Drugs in the Workplace Essay

1237 Words Mar 18th, 2013 5 Pages
With the need to perform at an all time high in the workplace, more employers are beginning to look at the possibility of stimulant abuse within their own company. Illicit drug abuse such as cocaine, adderrall, etc, seems to lend itself to a trend of increased worker’s comp claims involving incident and injury. One study shows that nearly 75% of all drug users are employed, as are most binge drinkers.
“Alcoholism causes 500 million lost workdays each year (National Association of Treatment Providers, 1991).” Another study shows that seventy-three percent of all current drug users aged 18 and older (8.3 million adults) were employed in 1997. This includes 6.7 million full-time workers and 1.6 million part-time workers (United States
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Abuse is not isolated to the illicit drugs, it also encompasses the use of alcohol, tranquilizers or misuse of a users prescribed medications.
Under the influence of such drugs, stimulants and depressants, an employee is much more likely to change jobs, be late to work or completely absent from work, work at a lower efficiency rate, be involved in a workplace accident and file a workers’ compensation claim as opposed to non-substance abusers. For this reason it is important for employers to be trained to recognize and handle such situations in a way that protects the employee and the company.
Stimulants, though addictive, work through psychological dependence rather than physical. Users of stimulants, IE: adderrall, feel that if they do not have their medicine, drug, each morning that they simply have no energy or desire to face the day. Not only does this lend itself to symptoms of withdrawal but it also trends toward depression.
Depressants are widely used to treat those suffering from anxiety and insomnia. Both of these conditions are caused by the inability to control the functions of the respiratory and central nervous system as normal functioning humans can. Buspirone is a common introductory depressant. It is a prescription utilized by many physicians to treat acute anxiety.
Many employers are currently enforcing drug-free workplace programs. In such programs

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