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Ensuring drug-free workplaces in face of rising substance abuse problem

Creating and nurturing a culture of safety for their employees is an important concern for organizations. Managers and leaders execute necessary policies to ensure safety of their employees. Firms in the United States need to take extra measures to ensure safety in offices due to drug addiction becoming a scourge and due to growing number of states decriminalizing marijuana use.

With an increasing number of Americans favoring legalization of marijuana use and various researches indicating medical marijuana as a safe alternative to opioid use for pain treatment, American firms are under pressure to allow their employees to consume marijuana as a social drug.

Drug abuse affects country’s economy

Most companies have a zero-tolerance policy against their employees taking drugs, alcohol or any other substance. Firms often devise various measures to accentuate the importance of drug-free environment to promote safety and health of employees at the workplace and to encourage existing employees to seek help for their addictive habit.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), drug abuse costs the U.S. economy $246 billion annually in decreased productivity, turnover, medical costs, increased accidents and absenteeism.

Studies have also claimed that employees who use marijuana have 75 percent higher absenteeism and 85 percent more workplace injuries than other employees. Substance abuse is responsible for 40 percent workplace fatalities, say reports.

Ensuring drug-free environment at workplace

To avoid such occurrences, organizations can put follow certain practices that will go a long way in helping create a drug-free atmosphere in the professional sphere:

  • Initiating drug-free workplace program: Companies must ensure that they have policies structured, detailed, written and shared with their employees regarding their level of tolerance against any nature of substance use to prevent the scope of ambiguity in future. This will act as a warning for the employees who will think twice before indulging in any kind of substance abuse.
  • Promoting importance of drug-free environment: Most companies assume that their employees must be aware of their policies and do not consider it seriously to remind their employees about the same in a timely fashion. It is imperative for the administration to distribute a copy of the company’s Drug-Free Work Policy to all its existing employees, along with a message from the company about its intent to value its employees’ health and safety.
  • Imparting necessary training: It is necessary for companies to impart trainings to their supervisors to make sure that they are in sync with the company’s policy on drug and alcohol usage. Such trainings also ensure that the leaders are well-equipped with relevant information on ways to deal with employees indulging in use of addictive substances and knowledge of how to help employees seeking support to get rid of their drug-taking habit.
  • Organizing community-based drug prevention efforts: Companies can ask their employees to volunteer in efforts preventing drug use, along with other activities in this direction. Community-based programs can help employees become aware of the ill effects of addiction.

Staying drug-free

Staying drug-free is the key to most problems that Americans are aggrieved with. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), an estimated 70 percent of the 14.8 million Americans consuming illegal drugs are employed. The NCADD has also pinpointed about marijuana being the most commonly abused illegal drug followed by cocaine and prescription opioids.

It is imperative to seek expert advice to rid of drug addiction. If you or your loved one is fighting addiction, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline to know about drug rehab centers in your area. To know about our addiction treatment centers in U.S., call our 24/7 helpline at 855-441-4405 or chat online with our treatment advisors.

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