When an opioid addiction strikes someone’s home, the entire focus, rightfully so, goes toward the addict themself and their individual substance use disorder. However, there is another side of the opioid epidemic that most of us probably haven’t put much thought into: addiction makes things pretty difficult for employers.
In fact, the number of people who have tested positive for oxycodone in the US has increased almost twofold amongst companies that do test for drugs at all. That translates to a ton of missed or substandard work.
A lot of this also comes from people missing work entirely due to seeking treatment. In many states, employers are legally bound to keep those employees’ jobs for them, but that’s really only a positive for those who have an addiction. This can lead to tremendous consequences for small business owners, though they’re not nearly as consequential as untreated substance abuse goes.
PORT ST. LUCIE — It’s an $81 billion problem. Nearly seven out of ten (69%) illicit drug users and eight out of ten (76%) binge and heavy alcohol drinkers in the U.S. are employed, costing their employers billions in lowered productivity, diminished work quality, high absenteeism, turnover, workplace accidents and theft of company assets as users seek to feed their addictions.
As an employer, this means you very likely have a drug and alcohol problem, whether you are aware of it or not.
By the numbers
Statistics tell the story:
• 24% of workers reported drinking at work at least once during the previous 12 months.