Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States by far. More people are dying from drug overdoses today than from gun homicides and motor vehicles combined. Yet, less than a fifth of employers said they felt "extremely prepared" to deal with prescription drug abuse in their workplace. Only 13 percent were "very confident" that workers could spot signs of misuse, and 76 percent do not offer training on the topic. Many companies have taken steps to provide healthy workplaces, especially for smoking and weight loss, but they are behind on substance abuse resources, often because there’s a belief “that it doesn't happen here.”
Workers in construction and extraction experience the highest rates of substance use disorders, with 15.6% of employees on average living with a substance use disorder, according to the National Safety Council.
Research has shown that behavioral health treatment and training can help empower people to live better lives. Employers who bring workplace health tools to their employees are well-served by thinking strategically around a total health approach. Investing in employee training and treatment yields high returns, with an estimated gain of 23% among employees with an income of $45,000 per year or an estimated gain of 64% for employees earning $60,000 per year. Each employee who recovers from a substance abuse disorder saves a company more than $3,200 a year.
In this infographic, discover more about how drugs and alcohol are affecting employers and employees today.
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