Employee Drug Abuse: How it Impacts the Workforce


Today’s America is not the place that once was in the past. Modern American citizens have a favorable disposition towards drugs. They want the legalization of marijuana. They also desire opioid based prescription drugs that can get rid of their pain. Even though a heroin epidemic is negatively impacting this nation, people still want to use this dangerous substance to get high.

Strange as this might sound, there are still some people who still smoke crack. Regardless of the drug, people are doing them. What’s shocking is that many of them are employed on jobs. How is employee drug abuse impacting the workforce? Keep reading to discover the answer.

Drugs and the Functioning Addict

The Drug Abuse website states that there is an estimated 38 million people who regularly use drugs within a given year. At least 70% (or 26 million people) of them are employed. These individuals can be labeled as functioning addicts. While they do drugs during the night, they operate like a normal person during the day. They get up, get dressed, drive their kids to school and head off to the job.

Once they arrive at work they get along well with their peers and they are productive members of their office. They even occasionally slip off into some hidden part of their job building to do drugs. Then, when it’s time to go home; they prepare themselves for a night filled with drug abuse and good times. Functioning addicts can operate in this way for many years without anyone ever discovering they have a real drug addiction problem. However, this problem eventually catches up with most workers indulge in this type of practice.

Does Your Co-Worker Have a Drug Problem?

It is estimated that at least 1/3 of all working people know at least one employee who has a drug problem. They do these drugs while on the job or they see them doing drugs at home or somewhere out in society. When a co-worker has a drug problem it shows. Sometimes, you will notice it by their appearance. They do they often have a glazed look in their eyes? Do they display behavior that shows they are not focused or interested in their work? When they come to work, do they often disappear for hours at a time? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your co-worker might have a drug problem.

It is advised that employers need to look for physical, behavioral and financial signs that a person might be using drugs. They also recommend for employers to do the same. Companies also have the option for administering a 5 panel test of street drugs. This type of testing is designed to detect THC, PCP, opiates, amphetamines and cocaine.

A Final Word About Employee Drug Abuse

Employees drug abuse cost companies billions every year. Lost productivity, higher insurance costs and misused business assets are some of the results that develop from this behavior. Thankfully, many companies have resources in place for their employees to find help and to improve their lives.