Drugs at The Workplace

Essay by RozellaUniversity, Master'sA-, September 2006

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Alcohol and drug use in the workplace is considered one of the most critical problems facing business and industry today. It is not surprising that substance use problems are a leading cause of performance behavior or impairment on the job. Alcohol and other drug use can impact the workplace in many ways. While many employers frequently turn a blind eye to alcohol and drug misuse, the widespread problem hinders productivity, damages profits, costs jobs and could be affecting the nation's health in ways yet to be fully identified.

In this respect, it should be dealt with in the same way as other issues and be seen as a health and social problem. Men and women who are dependent on heroin, cocaine and liquor - who must have these potent drugs to get through the day- are clearly substance abusers. 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.

And now the growing problem of alcohol and drug abuse and its impact on the workplace provides a related area of concern. Human Resource professionals now show an apprehension towards this matter and how these problems affect employers. The problems of these substance abusers become the human resource problems. They increase risk of accident, lower productivity, raise insurance costs, and reduce profits. With that, the organization has a responsibility to its employees and customers to ensure that the risks are minimized.


Drug and alcohol abuse is by no means a new problem. At various times throughout history there have been movements, prohibition, the banning, the various...