Drug Prevalence in the Workplace
In the past two decades, drug use in the workplace has risen drastically (Lee, 2011, p303). At least 16.4 million drug abusers and 15 million “heavy alcohol user” work a part time or full time job (“Help Prevent Workplace Drug Use”, 2009; “Most Illicit Drug Users and Heavy Alcohol Users are in the Workplace”, 2007). Many of these substance abusers admit to using their drug of choice before or during their work hours (“Help Prevent Workplace Drug Use”, 2009). Many of these users also admit they know of illegal drug sales in the workplace place (“Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace”, n.d.). Food service workers and construction workers have the two highest rates for using illicit drug use in the workplace. Construction, mining, excavation and drilling workers rated highest for the heaviest alcohol drinkers. The ...view middle of the document...
However, more stricter and random work drug test has showed that twice as many employees as before are using heroin and prescription pain killers on the job. Heroin abuse in employees has made a huge increase from 0.008 percent to 0.04 percent; with transportation workers having a 20 percent increase in use (Fisher, 2011). These random work drug tests at work have showed 18 percent increase in the prescription abuse of opiates, such as oxycodone and oxymorphone (more commonly known as Vicodin and Oxycontin). This has caused the rise of prescription drug to rise above 40 percent since 2005 (Fisher, 2011). According to the department of labor most prescription drug workers are employed by a small business. The Department of Labor also estimates “9 in 10 of illicit drug users who are employed work for small to medium size businesses.” Even though working under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause tremendous damage and harm, more than 60 percent of adults know someone who has used drugs at work or before work and did not report it to someone (Drug Free Workplace”, n.d.).
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Journal of Law and Social Problems. 45(2), 303-352
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