Each year, 4 billion hours of work productivity are lost due to substance abuse in the United States alone. Though this number is enormous, it’s unsurprising: 77% of illegal drug users have jobs. These workers are more likely to have skipped work more than two days in the last month, and are late to work three times more often than other employees. This loss of work productivity caused United States businesses to lose $96.8 billion between 2000 and 2004.
This problem hits harder in some industries and occupations than others. The arts, entertainment, recreation, and construction industries have especially high alcohol use. The accommodations and food services industries have especially high illicit drug use.
Substance abuse and work don’t mix; in fact, it’s a pretty dangerous combination. Those who work under the influence of illicit substances are four times more likely to have an accident at work. In fact, between 10 and 20% of American workers who die on the job test positive for the presence of drugs and/or alcohol.
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