Workers Alcohol & Drug Use

The US Office of Applied Studies has found that among full-time workers aged 18 to 64 years, the highest rates of past month heavy alcohol use were found in

  • construction (15.9%);
  • arts, entertainment, and recreation (13.6%); and
  • mining (13.3%).

The industry categories with the lowest rates of heavy alcohol use were

  • educational services (4.0%) and
  • health care and social assistance (4.3%).

Approximately 13.6% of unemployed adults drank alcohol heavily in the past month.

Combined data from 2002 to 2004 indicate that an annual average of 8.2% of full-time workers used illicit drugs in the past month and 8.8% used alcohol heavily in the past month

The highest rates of past month illicit drug use among full-time workers were found in the accommodations and food services (16.9%) and construction (13.7%) industries.

Substance use in the workplace negatively affects industry through lost productivity, workplace accidents and injuries, employee absenteeism, low morale, and increased illness. The loss to U.S. companies due to employees’ alcohol and drug use and related problems is estimated at billions of dollars a year.

Research report; US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. (August 23, 2007).

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