Contemporary Social Problems and the Workplace
Instructor: Douglas Nelson
October 4, 2012
Substance Abuse in the Workplace
Substance abuse is a growing problem in the workplace. “Substance abuse is the repeated use of alcohol or drugs to the point that users develop personal problems and distress related to use.” (Giraffe, 2011) I am going to discuss the major problems with substance abuse and outline some mind-boggling statistics. Furthermore, I will relate substance abuse to a work environment I have been associated with and express the chaos I have witnessed from co-workers abusing illegal substances and over-using alcohol. I am going to analyze ways this problem can be possibly solved or at least prevented to a certain degree. If substance abuse is prevented, I have determined several social and economic benefits that may occur. I. The major problem with substance abuse
1. Substance abuse in the workplace is extremely dangerous; the one abusing the substance increases not only their chances, but also increases the likeliness of their co-workers of injuries or possibly death depending on the situation. a. “Alcohol and drug abuse on the job is a serious issue for employers because it may cause lost productivity or dangerous conditions from mistakes, reduced efficiency, and increased absenteeism.” (Giraffe, 2011) b. “Alcohol use, although legal, also significantly contributes to workplace substance abuse problems.” (Giraffe, 2011) II. Substance abuse related to my work environment
1. I have had co-workers come into work hung-over and possibly still drunk, I have seen them hide in the bathroom and sleep for several hours. a. “Furthermore, substance abusers are not only less productive, but they also use three times the number of sick days and file five times the number of workers' compensation claims as nonabusers” (U.S. Department of Labor, 1999). b. “Substance abuse also leads to...