Melissa Matson, Kenesha Shipman, Hope Greenwood, Cathy Imschweiler, Amy Turner
November 2, 2014
There are several policies an organization can adopt when enforcing a drug-free workplace. Company Y has must implement a drug-free workplace environment that will include mandatory drug testing for new hires. The organization is still unsure if this policy is necessary due to this cost associated with the change. In order to help Company Y make a practical decision, a discussion of the prevalence of illicit and prescription drug users in the United States workforce. There also will be a discussion of the effects of absenteeism, accidents, downtown, turnover, theft, morale, and productivity will be measured. The paper will conclude explaining the characteristics and benefits an organization will witness operating under a drug-free workplace.
Prevalence of Drug Users in the United States Workforce
There are approximately 316 million people in the United States. Out of the 316 million people there are approximately 24 million people who were abusers of illicit drugs, including prescription drugs, during 2012 (NIH, 2014). That means that about 14 percent of Americans were on drugs in 2012. The people in the study reported that they had used frequently and within the last month. The study did not include people who did not admit to their drug use. Out of the 24 million people who use illicit or prescription drugs, 70% of them are part of the workforce (NCADD. 2014). The statistics mean that there are about 16.8 million people who use drugs in the workplace in the United States alone (NCADD. 2014). Marijuana alone had 18.9 million users in 2012 (NIH, 2014). The drug that is abused the second most in the United States is prescription drugs at 6.8 million people in 2012 (NIH, 2014). The remaining drugs that have a high rate of use are cocaine at 1.6 million users, hallucinogens at 1.1 million, inhalants at 0.5 million, and heroin at 0.3 million people (NIH, 2014). Drug use is prevalent in many environments not just in the workplace. Drug use in the workplace can be dangerous because of the lasting effects it can cause the business, the employees, or the clients. The rate of drug use is on the rise in America. Though the trend of what drug is the most popular will change over the years, drugs will be continued to be used, abused, and causing addiction.
Drug Abuse on Absenteeism
Company Y is considering implementing a drug-free workplace policy with mandatory drug testing for new hires that are necessary to enforce that the company's drug-free policy is in place and enforced.
Drug Abuse on Accidents
Drug -use in the workplace do not go hand in hand. In order to implement a drug-free workplace, the policy needed to write up and followed through with no exceptions. Company Y's consideration of writing up such a policy is an important step in the right direction for this company. Drug use in the workplace can cause accidents. Drug use will pose an enormous threat to the company, an employee, and other employees that are in the same workplace (Love, 1993). Another added danger would be if the work place is responsible for other individuals like customers or if working in a nursing facility you would be responsible for the residents that are in your care. While there is an employee that is working and using drugs, the change increases for accidents to happen.
Drug Abuse on Downtime
Drug abuse while on downtime or not working is the individual's choice to use drugs or alcohol. If the employee does not have to go into work for a few days, the employee may choose to go drinking or use drugs to relax. On downtime, it is not the employer's responsibility to make sure you are drug-free. However, once the downtime is over, and the employee has to report to work, the employee's responsibility is to be drug-free and alcohol-free. The employee that is not drug-free or