Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace

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Use of Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace
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Figure 2 79% of binge drinkers are members of the workforce (Drug-Free Workplace) {draw:frame}
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Drug and/or Alcohol Use Seriously Threatens Organizations
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Excessive absenteeism, which holds a significantly percentage of occurrences of drug users as cited above, costs an organization lower productivity, damaged moral and consequently lower product quality. The US Dept of Labor reports that annually, 500 million work days are lost solely due to alcoholism. In addition to absenteeism lowering moral, workplace theft is an experienced and related problem. Approximately 18% of cocaine users steal at work, from either the employer or their co-workers (Facts for Employers). Programs Focus on Testing to Reduce or Eliminate These Problems Reasons For and Methods of Drug Testing in the Workplace

Typical drug screens detect the presence of several drugs in the body. Although tests can be specifically designed, the most typical tests are designed to detect alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamines, morphine, opiates and PCP (Gottlieb). In addition to the above list of common drugs, tests can be designed to detect the use of prescription medications often usedfor recreational use. In many cases, such as the MUST Program, the consequences of positive test results often result in immediate suspension or permanent discharge (Policy; XXXX, Interview). Opposition to Drug Testing

Conclusion
Although not a position embraced by the American Civil Liberties Union and other various opponents, the use of drugs and alcohol in the work place has been reported to be rampant and dangerous. It is a multi-billion dollar problem to all organizations, of all sized and within all industries. The concerns associated with workplace drug use are financial, physical and safety issues. Summary

Since the 1970’s, drug use in the workplace has become not only common, but rampant. The annual financial impact to the business world associated with this problematic use has beencalculated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The fiscal consequences of this behavior dramatically reduce the bottom line profit of any affected organization. Higher than average insurance rates are commonplace to organizations encountering this issue, which reduces the profits for all shareholders. Certain industries are more susceptible to drug use than others. They are also the industries that realize higher safety issues and encounter more dangerous workplace conditions. Construction and manufacturing are two industries affected more than most. The Department of Labor, citing examples of dramatic results, reported that due to the implementation of comprehensive prevention programs, many companies had a turn-around in incidents and related costs. They used examples of companies ranging in size of a small local plumbing company in Washington DC to the large international group, CSX Transportation Corporation. The companies were reported to have all benefited in many ways, from drastically reduced positive test results to reduced insurance costs or ancillary problems that are inevitable with these problems. It is further suggested that drug use in the workplace can be prevented (elaws). Preventing these costly behaviors would only increase overall safety in the workplace and result in overall higher profits for the shareholders. Although deemed by opponents to be an expensive course of action, especially to smaller organizations with limited resources, employee drug testing is commonly believed to be quite effective at combating workplace drug use, thereby promoting a potentially safer worksite and a higher profit for the organization. The cost of the prevention is well worth the effort. Recommendations

Appendix A
Primary Research – Interview
XXXX, Vice President of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
_Do you feel the...
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