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Drug Abuse in the Workplace


  • The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that drug use in the workplace costs employers approximately $81 billion annually in lost time, accidents, health care and workers' compensation costs.
  • Substance abusers are six times more likely than their co-workers to file a worker's compensation claim.
  • 60% of employed drug users work for smaller companies.
  • 30% of drug abuse in the workplace involves prescription drugs.

More and more companies are addressing this problem by implementing a drug-free workplace program, consisting of drug education and training for workers and supervisors as well as employee assistance for those already involved with substance abuse.


Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988


The Drug-Free Workplace Act is a federal stature requiring certain Federal contractors to maintain a drug-free workplace. If you are covered by the Act, you are required to do the following:

  • Provide a drug-free workplace.
  • Publish a statement notifying your employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the workplace. It should also state actions to be taken against your employees for violations.
  • Create an ongoing, drug-free awareness program to inform your employees of the dangers of drug abuse, your drug-free workplace policy, the availability of any drug counseling programs, and the possible penalties for drug abuse violations occurring in the workplace.
  • Require each employee directly involved in the work of the contract or grant to notify you of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace.
  • Require corrective actions for convicted employees.


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