Infographic: Drug Abuse in the Workplace

by Emily Holbrook on September 25, 2012 · 7 comments

Thanks in part to  a drastic increase in prescription narcotic abuse among the public, drug use on the job has also increased — and with alarming effects for employers. The following infographic, courtesy of Compliance and Safety, illustrates the magnitude of the problem.

The infographic goes even further by breaking down drug use by industry and company size.

Employers have options, however, including:

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Emily Holbrook is the executive managing editor for National Underwriter Life & Health and the former editor of the Risk Management Monitor and Risk Management magazine. You can read more of her writings at

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark September 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Yes, the war on drugs costs way too much; it even bleeds over for businesses maintaining a workforce. Can we please educate people instead of incarcerating them? Clearly incarceration hasn’t worked these last 40 years.

John September 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

What is your point exactly? I have employees I know use, but are not abusers. I run a tight ship keeping everyone responsible at work. I actually have far less problems with them, they are better than several of my ‘normal’ employees. People seem to assume if you use a drug you are an addict who is out of control; that simply isn’t the case. Instead of throwing money at the problem, like your graphic describes as occurring; why don’t we do as the comment above says and educate people?

Panji September 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Is there actually a correlation between drug abuse workers with their performance? It might be more interesting and focus.

Emily Holbrook September 27, 2012 at 10:24 am

Thanks for your comment Panji. The complete infographic, which you can find by clicking on the link in the first paragraph, shows that workers who abuse drugs are more likely to miss more days of work. It states that employees who abuse drugs are “1/3 more ineffective than sober employees.”

Stacey September 28, 2012 at 6:55 am

Response to Mark, the infographic wasn’t suggesting that businesses throw money at the ‘war on drugs’, nor that people should be incarcerated. The full infographic suggests that companies implement drug screening policies into their application process.

Utomwen Monday October 2, 2012 at 10:48 am

I think the infographic highlights the huge impact of drug and substance abuse. The saying goes that prevention is better than cure. With the analysis, individuals and companies can be better guided in their decision making.

julia October 23, 2013 at 8:09 am

I think the person who can help is boss. Friendly conversation will give opportunity to identify the reason and help. I’ve published an article on this topic in my blog

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