As I reported in my previous blog post, nearly one million people spent $50,000 or more on prescription drugs in 2016. The National Safety Council says a whopping 75 percent of people struggling with a substance abuse problem are in the workforce. A frightening thought!
While a large majority of companies have adopted smoke-free policies over the years, the NSC study says 81 percent lack a comprehensive drug-free workplace policy. More than 70 percent of employers believe prescription drug "misuse" is a disease but 65 percent believe it is grounds for termination.
Drug addicted employees, no doubt, can have an impact on an employer's bottom line. As a matter of fact, 7 out of 10 employers say they have felt some effect of prescription drug abuse. Incidents experienced as a result of prescription drug usage include:
- Impaired or decreased job performance
- Borrowing or selling prescription drugs on the job
Employees who abuse prescription drugs are two to five times more likely to take unexcused absences, be late for work, be injured or violent, quit or be fired within the first year of their employment.
Although this has nothing to do with the NSC study I wanted to add some statistics from 2015 provided by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation:
- Opioid overdose deaths by whites: 27,056
- Blacks: 2,741
- Hispanics: 2,507
Perhaps the fact that over 90 percent of people addicted and dying from prescription drug abuse are white is why Trump is preparing to sign an executive order calling it a National Emergency. That's what covering his base is about.