Occupational Impact of Drug Abuse and Addiction



It may be surprising to learn that the majority of alcohol and drug-using individuals are gainfully employed full- or part-time. This equates to millions in the workforce whose substance use may create work-related problems and consequences. Studies have demonstrated the negative impact of substance use on worker productivity, safety, and functioning that result in substantial economic and societal costs. Strategies to address substance use among employees include workplace education and awareness campaigns, drug testing, Employee Assistance Programs, and other intervention efforts. Despite the popularity of such services, there is a relative lack of experimental study of their impact. Nonetheless, recent studies have begun to document the benefit of workplace programs on worker productivity and safety. Future study is needed to experimentally test workplace interventions, document cost–benefit ratios, and replicate findings across work sites. Additional work is necessary to address barriers faced by human resource professionals when identifying and addressing substance use problems among the workforce.


Illicit Drug Drug Testing Workplace Intervention National Household Survey Human Resource Professional 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Butler Center for Research, HazeldenCenter CityUSA

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