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Purpose and Objectives
Equipment and Materials
Policy Overview
current selection is Workplace Impact
Understanding Addiction
Signs and Symptoms
Family and Coworker Impact
Specific Drugs of Abuse
Presentation Materials

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy
Drug-Free Workplace Advisor
Employee Education

Workplace Impact

Alcohol abuse and the use of illegal drugs are serious workplace problems. Nearly three quarters of those who use illegal drugs also work, and alcohol remains the leading drug of abuse as one in every ten people in the U.S. has an alcohol problem. People don't check their substance abuse problems at the door when they enter the workplace. Workers who abuse alcohol and other drugs affect everyone around them. Substance abuse can affect all segments of the workforce ranging from employees with tedious repetitive tasks to managers under stress.

The Department of Transportation and other Federal agencies require testing employees for illegal drugs and alcohol. Transportation industry employees whose jobs are designated as "safety-sensitive" are subject to random testing. The substances tested for are alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and PCP. A positive drug or alcohol test can result in the loss of a job or in some cases a career.

*Instructions for Trainer:

Ask participants to give you examples of the negative impact alcohol abuse and/or drug use can have on employee health, safety, productivity, decision making, morale and security as well as your organization's reputation. Record the responses on a flip-chart and add items that are overlooked. Use the list below to guide the discussion.
Employee Health
Substance abusers tend to neglect their nutrition, sleep and other health needs, and substance abuse depresses the immune system.

  • Higher health benefit usage
  • Increased use of sick time
  • More absenteeism and tardiness
  • Safety
    Common effects of the use of alcohol and other drugs are impairments in vision, hearing, attention span, muscle coordination, alertness and mental acuity.

  • More accidents
  • More workers' compensation claims