Substance Abuse in the Workplace

National Drug Awareness Month

Drug users can cost companies a lot of time and money every year. It’s estimated that companies lose about $81 billion annually. The biggest reason is absenteeism. Addicts will fail to show up for work because they are too high or are in withdrawal and are physically too ill to come in.

No one wants to believe a fellow employee or co-worker is on drugs or abusing alcohol, but if you notice any or all of these issues, keep a written record and let your supervisor know of your concerns—do not confront them yourself—management and human resources personnel are trained to deal with a variety of worker-related issues. Here are a few to look out for:

  •  Inconsistent work quality
  •  Poor concentration and lack of focus
  •  Lowered productivity or erratic work patterns
  •  Increased absenteeism or on the job “presenteeism”
  •  Unexplained disappearances from the jobsite
  •  Carelessness, mistakes or errors in judgment
  •  Needless risk taking
  •  Disregard for safety for self and others- on the job and off the job accidents
  •  Extended lunch periods and early departure


  • Frequent financial problems
  • Avoidance of friends and colleagues
  • Blaming others for own problems and shortcomings
  • Complaints about problems at home
  • Deterioration in personal appearance or personal hygiene
  • Complaints, excuses and time off for vaguely defined illnesses or family problems

Worker Care not only helps employees with injuries, injury prevention and protection, but we also specialize in drug and alcohol screening. We have a number of specific tests for a wide variety of drugs.

If you would like more information on drug and alcohol awareness for home and at the workplace, please visit