Almost 10 Percent of Full-Time Workers Have Had Recent Substance Abuse Problem
April 22nd, 2015
A new government study finds almost 10 percent of full-time workers in the United States report having had a recent substance abuse problem. Nearly 9 percent of workers reported heavy drinking in the past month. Heavy drinking is defined as having five or more drinks in one sitting on five or more days in the past month.
About the same number of workers said they had used illegal drugs during the past 30 days. The findings come from surveys of more than 11,500 adults with full-time jobs, according to HealthDay.
“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 was most prevalent among miners (17.5 percent), and least likely among health care and social assistance workers (4.4 percent). Drug use was most common among hotel and food service employees (19 percent) and least common among public administration workers (4 percent).
SAMSA found overall levels of substance use disorders among American workers have remained constant since the last such study, conducted in 2007. The new survey did detect some changes. For example, the rate of illegal drug use rose among hotel and food service industry workers, while substance use disorders among construction workers fell.
“Substance use issues pose an enormous risk to the health, safety and productivity of American workers,” Hyde said. “Every segment of the community needs to help tackle this problem, including employers.”
The New York Times reported Saturday that a growing number of workers in a wide variety of professions are abusing stimulants in an effort to stay competitive.