Indicator 7: Workplace
NIDA (1999, November 5) reports that employees who abuse alcohol or drugs
cost their employers "about twice as much in medical and worker compensation
claims as their drug-free co-workers." In addition, various research activities
in the workforce report that treatment significantly decreases the costs for,
or paid by, employers, employees, and taxpayers.
Some recent studies by large companies report the following (CSAT, 1999):
- The U.S. Small Business Administration reports drug-free workplace programs
costs $22-$50 per employee compared to estimated annual costs of $640 incurred
by each untreated substance abusing employee.
- Aetna Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan showed overall health care
costs of persons with alcohol dependence rose from $130 to $1,370 per month
prior to treatment and dropped to $190 per month three years after treatment.
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield found that families' health care costs dropped
by 87 percent after treatment, a reduction from $100 a month to $13.34 per
month in the 5th year of treatment.
Employers report that employees who abuse alcohol and/or other drugs
are less dependable and have decreased productivity. Specifically,
employers report increased absenteeism, increased errors, higher insurance
premiums, increased auto crashes, and sometimes death. Employees with
substance use disorders are fired more often and switch jobs more frequently.
An extensive cost effectiveness study in Ohio on the impact of treatment
on job performance found absenteeism was reduced by 61 percent, incomplete
work was reduced by 37 percent, and errors dropped by 36 percent (Close
to Home Coalition, 1998).
An extensive cost effectiveness
study in Ohio on the impact of treatment on job performance found
absenteeism was reduced by 61 percent, incomplete work was reduced
by 37 percent and errors dropped by 36 percent.
Currently, substance abuse negatively affects the workplace in many ways.
The health and viability of the workplace is in serious jeopardy if alcohol
and other drug use increases and goes untreated.
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