Because the worker next to you may be
drunk, high, or hungover.
More than 70 percent of substance
abusers hold jobs; one worker in four, ages 18 to 34, used drugs in the past
year; and one worker in three knows of drug sales in the workplace.
Americans consume 60 percent of the
world’s production of illegal drugs: 23 million use marijuana at least four
times a week; 18 million abuse alcohol; 6 million regularly use cocaine; and 2 million use
In the workplace, the problems of these
substance abusers become your problems. They increase risk of accident, lower
productivity, raise insurance costs, and reduce profits. They can cost you your
job; they can cost you your life.
What is Substance Abuse?
Men and women dependent on heroin, cocaine,
or crack—who must have these potent drugs to get through the day—are clearly
substance abusers. And drug dependency takes more than one form. You need not be
physically addicted (and suffer painful bodily symptoms of withdrawal when denied your
drug of choice) to be drug dependent. Psychological dependency is equally responsible for
compulsive drug use.
But substance abuse covers a range
of behavior that goes far beyond dependency. Abuse may involve regular marijuana
use, heavy drinking, weekend binges, casual consumption of tranquilizers, or misuse of
other prescription drugs. It includes any use of drugs or alcohol that threatens physical
or mental health, inhibits responsible personal relationships, or diminishes the ability
to meet family, social, or vocational obligations.
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