Job Industries With High Addiction Rates

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

For people who are struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol, the effects it has on their lives and the lives of their family and friends are really apparent. Substance not only causes immense physical and psychological harm to those afflicted, it creates dysfunction in the relationships between the addict and their loved ones and even between loved ones. Addiction is indeed a family disease, but the effects of substances are far-reaching, and an individual’s addiction to drugs and alcohol creates a ripple effect that spreads out beyond family and friends.

An excellent example of the widespread effects of drug abuse in the community can be seen in the workplace. Addiction hurts businesses large and small, and they lose billions of dollars per year due to lost productivity, training costs, and injuries. Addiction in the job industry is widespread and affects people no matter the career, but there are certain job industries in which people are more susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse. This article will discuss the job industries that feature the highest addiction rates, and it will discuss the impact of financial addiction in the workplace. Additionally, this article will detail what resources are available to addicts in the work environment to get the help they need.

The High Cost of Addiction in the Workplace

The statistics regarding the total cost of addiction in the job industry are shocking. Statistics provided by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCAAD) show that substance abuse costs employers $81 billion a year as the result of poor work performance, low productivity, and accidents in the workplace. Further statistics provided by the NCAAD also show that 70 percent of the nearly 15 million people who use illegal drugs in the United States are currently employed.

The adverse financial impacts of addiction in the workplace can also be seen in regards to employee turnover and the resulting costs of hiring and training new employees. In a guidebook published by the National Business Group on Health, statistics show that the cost of replacing an employee can range from 25% to almost 200% of the employee’s annual compensation. These costs don’t factor in the loss of job knowledge, disruptions to productivity, and the significant damage it can do to co-worker productivity and employee morale. Drug addiction in the job market also has negative impacts due to the risk of having dangerous or deadly accidents on the job with 10 to 20 percent of people who die at the workplace have a positive test for substances.

What Occupations Are People Most Vulnerable to Substance Abuse?

As stated in the introduction, anybody in any occupation can fall prey to drug addiction. However, there are several occupations in which feature higher rates of substance abuse. One such industry is the health care profession. With the high-stress levels associated with providing healthcare and the easy accessibility to prescription painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, and other potent medications, it is estimated that between 10 to 15 percent of all healthcare workers will misuse these drugs at some point in their career.

Another occupation in which substance abuse is commonplace is the food service industry which includes bartenders, waitstaff, cooks and prep staff. According to statistics provided by the U.S Department of Labor, 17.4 percent those who are in food preparation and serving related professionals engage in illicit drug use in comparison to 8.2 percent of workers in other professions. Additionally, 14.7 percent of people who work in this occupation have alcohol dependence or abuse issues in comparison to 9.2 percent of those who work in other occupations.

Not surprisingly, those who are in dangerous occupations such as mining and construction have drug addiction rates that are significantly higher than average. According to information provided by SAMHSA, 17.9 percent of those in the mining industry and 16.9 percent of those who are in the construction industry are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Additionally, those who are in law enforcement also experience high rates of alcoholism and drug abuse. A study published in the American Journal of Addiction showed that 18.1% of males and 15.9% of females reported experiencing adverse consequences from alcohol use and 7.8 % of the sample met criteria for lifetime alcohol abuse or dependence.

business man doing drugs at work

The Importance of Employee Assistance Programs

Drug addiction in the job industry is a serious matter that impacts the physical health of employees and the financial health of businesses. In order to minimize the impact addiction has in the workplace and to give employees the resources they need to overcome substance abuse, a growing number of businesses are implementing employee assistance programs (EAP’s). These programs address an employee’s short-term problems and offer them resources that will address the longer reaching issues that impact their lives.

EAP’s offer such essential services such as counseling, referrals and resources for both managers and employees in a wide range of areas including substance abuse problems and other related issues including workplace relations, financial issues, legal consequences and behavioral issues. These programs are extremely beneficial in the fact that employees can access these resources with complete confidentiality 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Employees can receive immediate assistance and can call toll-free numbers that are specifically dedicated to these programs. Employees can turn to experienced and trusted professionals that can provide essential intervention services when their substance abuse issues are being to impact their lives. With early intervention, employees can receive the support they need in order to resolve any immediate issues and provide meaningful help to deal with problems that could present issues down the road.

Call the Addiction Professionals At First Steps Recovery Today

If you are overwhelmed with your addiction to drugs and alcohol, don’t want another day to address this issue; pick up the phone and call the addiction professionals at First Steps Recovery today. We offer a wide range of drug treatment programs that are proven effective and are individually tailored to meet you unique and specific needs. No matter the severity of your addiction, our treatment staff will be with you every step of the way in providing the compassionate and expert care you need to address your substance abuse.

Call us today!

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