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How to Prevent Drug Addiction Problems in the Workplace

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It is interesting that people prefer cocaine because it does not limit a person’ s intellectual and cognitive abilities (Potter & Orfali, 1998). According to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, every single time at least 15% of the American workforce is under the influence of alcohol while at work. Workplace alcohol abuse is observed to be greater in men than women, unmarried employees than married ones, younger employees than their older counterparts and in those employees working irregular and night shifts (Chapman, 2007). The use of drugs impairs employees’ decision-making abilities, compromises their physical abilities and prevents them from exercising sound judgment (Coalition against drug abuse, 2014).

This has fatal consequences when at the workplace especially in the presence of tools, heavy materials, and construction work. It is evident that between 10%-20% of workers who die in the workplace have been proved to use either drugs or alcohol (Coalition against drug abuse, 2014). Although it is expected that employees in the most dangerous occupations such as mining and construction would exercise the most caution, a study by OSHA indicates otherwise.

Employees in these two sectors register the highest rates of employee drug use as a percentage of the total number of employees in that occupation (Coalition against drug abuse, 2014). A World Health Organization study found that alcoholism is among the top ten leading causes of disability in the world (Rom & Markowitz, 2007)While it is not easy to know with certainty if a prospective employee or a current employee has drug addiction problems, there are signs and symptoms that should be noted. Employees with drug addiction problems have poor performance often reporting to work late and failing to finish tasks assigned within the specified time.

They exhibit a tendency to miss work, often calling in sick or with a number of excuses. Employees with alcohol problem record higher absent levels than other employees (Potter & Orfali, 1998).

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