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Up to $100 billion is lost every year in the US, spent on covering damage, lawsuits, injuries, insurance claims and many other factors related to drug or alcohol abuse at work. The cost encompasses many other aspects, including emotional and personal ones. However, these are hard to get measured and assessed. Nevertheless, there are different techniques used for measuring the toll that alcohol and drug abuse take on economy of any country.

Measuring the Costs of Drug Abuse

The main factors which stem from drug abuse related to work are number of days the worker has been absent, injuries he/she has sustained, number of health or insurance claims, the overall decrease in productivity and creativeness as well as the morale of the employee and stealing along with possible fatalities.

In fact, drug abusers are known to be significantly less productive. Also, they skip work three times more than other employees, being far more prone to injury than other individuals. Finally, due to their state of affairs, they are likely to file worker's compensation claims.

Statistics show that about 10% of drug addicts skip work due to hangovers they are experiencing, while 6% actually go to work while under the influence. On average, about 18% of drug users skip work at least once every month.

A Drink Every Once in a While...

Casual drinkers are a problem to economy as well, even though they are not addicted or prone to some serious alcohol-related issues. Social drinkers are claimed to be one of the main causes behind loss of productivity in the workplace. Interestingly, researches have shown that managers are more likely to drink during the workday, not the hourly employees. The frequency of drinking on the job rises along with the ladder of the management hierarchy. Ultimately, having co-workers who are prone to drinking often, leads to your own decrease in productivity. Thus, both alcohol and drug abuse in the workplace are factors which affect both the abusers and those who spend time with them.

All in all, drug and alcohol abuse on the job is something that needs to be dealt with timely, not through expelling from the company but, rather, through treatment and counseling. A healthy working environment is a productive one too. Thus, alcohol and drug abuse have no place under the roof of any company and people who become entangled in these problems need support and treatment as soon as possible since, otherwise, damage will be done, both on the personal and the global level.

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