Substance Abuse by Industry

substance-abuseIn the United States, a new government study, which analyzed data between 2008 and 2012, showed that nearly one in 10 full-time workers has had a recent substance abuse problem. The findings come from data of more than 11,500 adults with full-time jobs, according to HealthDay. The research showed that 9.5 percent of those surveyed had an alcohol or illicit-drug disorder in the previous year.

“Substance use issues pose an enormous risk to the health, safety and productivity of American workers,” Pamela Hyde, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) said in a news release.

Heavy drinking is defined as having five or more drinks in one sitting on five or more days in the past month. The findings varied depending on one’s industry of employment. Those working in the mining industry were found to have the highest rates of heavy drinking in the past month at 17.5 percent, according to the report. Whereas only 4.4 percent of those in the health care and social assistance industry engaged in heavy drinking during the same time period.

Regarding drug use, employees of the hotel and food service industry showed the highest rates of use, at 19 percent, compared to 4 percent in the public administration industry. Since the last study in 2007, substance use disorders among construction workers fell. Overall, substance use disorders rates among American workers have remained constant since the last study.

“Every segment of the community needs to help tackle this problem, including employers. By developing and actively promoting workplace programs such as Employee Assistance Programs for helping employees deal with substance use problems, employers can significantly improve the health, well-being, and productivity of their employees,” Hyde said in a SAMHSA news release.

You can view the SAMHSA study, here.