How does substance abuse affect your company's bottom line?

For additional data see "Facts and Figures" from the Small Business Workplace Kit, U.S. Department of Labor, Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace.

A typical "recreational drug user" in today's workforce is:

  • 2.2 times more likely to request early dismissal or time off
  • 2.5 times more likely to have absences of eight days or more
  • 3 times more likely to be late for work
  • 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident off the job (which in turn affects attendance or performance on the job)
  • 5 times more likely to file a workers' compensation claim
  • 7 times more likely to have wage garnishments
  • 1/3rd Less Productive

Based on these statistics, a single drug user in WA State will cost a company upwards of $14,946 per year.

The additional costs of substance abuse in the workplace include:

  • Lower morale
  • Decreased quality of products or services
  • Destruction or theft of company property
  • Higher insurance rates
  • Impaired judgment regarding everyday decisions affecting company

What employers are saying about drug-free workplace programs:

“The workplace is literally riddled with substance abusers, both on and off the job…  What should employers do?  The first step is to develop a clear policy on drugs and alcohol, and to ensure that this policy is effectively communicated to all employees and fully supported by top management”.
Peter Bensinger, President, Bensigner, DuPont, and Associates

“We’re concerned about performance.  We’re concerned about the effects of alcohol, but I can tell from someone’s behavior if they come to work drunk.  Not so with drugs.  About 80 percent of performance problems from drugs are invisible.  I equate our concern with that of the airline industry.  When you walk on a plane, you don’t want the pilots to just appear drug-free.  You want to be absolutely sure they are...  Drug use can exert financial demands-temptations-we don’t want on employees.”
Edwin Weihenmayer, VP and Director of Human Resources, Kiddler, Peabody & Co.

“When you deal with the public, courtesy, kindness, good habits are crucial.  If someone I hire is strung out or has a bad habit, he will take it to work with him.  Though I don’t deal in life or death situations, as far as my business goes, it’s life or death for me, a livelihood that could be compromised.”
Eugene King, Vice President of a freight company San Antonio, Texas