Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace

According to statistics, drug and alcohol abusers account for:

This means higher costs to the company through:

  • sick leave
  • overtime pay
  • insurance claims
  • tardiness
  • workers' compensation
  • friction among workers
  • damage to equipment
  • poor decisions
  • damage to the business's public image
  • employee turnover

For these reasons, some businesses have a policy that addresses the use of drugs and alcohol. While a smaller business will rarely want to have an all-out substance abuse program (unless required by federal or state law), you may want to adopt some of these strategies if you feel they can be effective in fighting substance abuse in your workplace. Should you decide to have a separate policy that addresses drugs and alcohol in the workplace, some topics to consider are:

Federal law compliance. If you are a government contractor or grantee, you must also comply with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988. Subcontractors and subgrantees are not covered by the Act. Your business is covered by this law if:

  • you have a single contract with the federal government worth $25,000 or more
  • you receive a grant from the federal government