May 24, 2017
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National Drug-Free
Workplace Alliance

A Division of Drug Free America Foundation, Inc.
5999 Central Ave, Ste 301
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
NDWA: 727-471-0009 ext. 109
DFAF: 727-828-0211 ext. 109
DFAF Fax: 727-828-0212

General information:
info@ndwa.org
Webmaster:
info@ndwa.org

Substance use negatively affects U.S. industry through lost productivity, workplace accidents and injuries, employee absenteeism, low morale, and increased illness. U.S. companies lose billions of dollars a year because of employees' alcohol and drug use and related problems. Research shows that the rate of substance use varies by occupation and industry.

About these statistics

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) gathers information about substance use and dependence or abuse. NSDUH defines illicit drugs as marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin, or prescription-type drugs used nonmedically.  Heavy alcohol use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on 5 or more days in the past 30 days. NSDUH also includes a series of questions to assess symptoms of dependence on or abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs during the past year. These questions are used to classify persons as dependent on or abusing substances based on criteria in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). In this report, dependence on or abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs is referred to as a "substance use disorder."

This combined data represents findings from the 2008 to 2012 surveys to present estimates of substance use behaviors (past month illicit drug use and past month heavy alcohol use) and past year substance use disorder among persons aged 18 to 64 who are employed full time by industry category.

Highlights

  • Combined data from 2008 to 2012 indicate that an annual average of 8.7% of full-time workers aged 18 to 64 used alcohol heavily in the past month, 8.6% used illicit drugs in the past month, and 9.5% were dependent on or abused alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year.
  • The highest rates of past month heavy alcohol use among full-time workers aged 18 to 64 were found in the mining (17.5%) and construction industries (16.5%).
  • The highest rates of past month illicit drug use were found in the accommodations and food services industry (19.1%).
  • The workers in the accommodations and food services industry (16.9%) had the highest rates of past year substance use disorder. 

Construction & Mining

The construction and mining industries touch virtually every aspect of our lives. Whether it is constructing homes, office building, roadways or other infrastructure, or obtaining valuable natural resources from the ground, safety is a great concern in these industries for both the workers and the general public.

Industry
Current
Illicit Drug Use %
Current Heavy
Alcohol Use %
Past Year 
Substance Use
Disorder %
Construction - General
11.6
16.5
14.3
Mining
5.0
17.5
11.8





General Services
The general service industry is the nation's largest employer of "security-sensitive positions" and pays a very high price for drug and/or alcohol abuse. These positions include employees who could have access to financial records and maintain confidential information. The mistakes made by employees impaired by drug and/or alcohol abuse could be devastating.
  
Industry
Current
Illicit Drug Use %
Current Heavy
Alcohol Use %
Past Year
Substance Use 
Disorder %
Finance and Insurance
6.5
7.4
9.4
Information
11.7
8.1
9.8
Management
12.1
9.9
11.4
Other Services11.28.510.1





Healthcare
Healthcare industry workers who abuse alcohol and/or drugs not only jeopardize their own safety, but the safety of the countless patients that have been entrusted to their care. By keeping America's health-related establishments drug and alcohol free, employers demonstrate that care and safety of their clients is top priority.

Industry
Current 
Illicit Drug Use %
Current Heavy
Alcohol Use %
Past Year
Substance Use 
Disorder%
Healthcare (combined) and



Social Assistance
5.54.45.7


Miscellaneous 
These miscellaneous industries employ a broad array of workers whose work function, be it personal performance, safety, or critical decision making would be highly compromised by alcohol and/or drug abuse.  Accidents or poor operations would have a profound effect on organizational profitability. 

Industry
Current
Illicit Drug Use %
Current Heavy
Alcohol Use %
Past Year
Substance Use 
Disorder%
Agriculture, Forestry,
  Fishing and Hunting
5.79.410.5
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation13.711.512.9
Educational Services4.84.75.5
Public Administration4.36.67.2
Real Estate, Leasing and Rental10.98.510.0
Utilities6.110.311.5


Professional, Scientific and Technological
America's professional, scientific and technology industries, where employees regularly deal with private or sensitive data, research, monetary transactions and information exchanges are greatly affected by drug and/or alcohol abusers in the workplace. Accuracy is critical in these industries, and even the smallest error or undetected security breach could seriously jeopardize not only company resources and profits, but the welfare, privacy, and personal security of millions of people worldwide.

Industry
Current
Illicit Drug Use %
Current Heavy
Alcohol Use %
Past Year 
Substance Use
Disorder %
Professional, Scientific, and 



Technical Services
9.0
7.7
8.8





Hospitality
In the hospitality industry, where customer satisfaction is crucial, employees who abuse drugs and/or alcohol threaten their own safety and the safety of their guests. They can also seriously jeopardize the success of that establishment. Customers not satisfied with the service in a particular establishment may simply take their business elsewhere.

Industry
Current
Illicit Drug Use %
Current Heavy
Alcohol Use %
Past Year
Substance Use
Disorder %
Accommodations and



Food Service
19.1
11.8
16.9





Manufacturing
In the manufacturing industry, employers must uphold their position in our nation as high-quality producers. Employers who abuse drugs and/or alcohol can potentially jeopardize the reputation of those companies, as well as compromise the safety of themselves, their co-workers, and the consumers.

Industry
Current
Illicit Drug Use %
Current Heavy
Alcohol Use %
Past Year 
Substance Use
Disorder %
Manufacturing - General
7.4
9.7
9.3





Retail
In the retail industry, customer service and quality are key to a business' success. Customers not satisfied with the service they receive may simply take their business elsewhere. An employee who abuses drugs and/or alcohol jeopardizes not only their safety, the safety of their co-workers and their patrons, but could also seriously jeopardize the success of that company.

Industry
Current
Illicit Drug Use %
Current Heavy
Alcohol Use %
Past Year
Substance Use 
Disorder %
Retail trade
10.3
9.0
10.5





Transportation
With the transportation industry affecting almost every aspect of our daily lives, it is easy to see the often-tragic results of drug and/or alcohol abuse. Unfortunately, drug and alcohol use play a significant part in the number of transportation-related accidents each year. This not only has a huge impact on employees and employers, but the general public as well. This is why the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has mandated that all industries comply with governmental regulations and maintain alcohol and drug-free workplaces.

Industry
Current
Illicit Drug Use %
Current Heavy
Alcohol Use %
Past Year
 Substance Use
Disorder % 
Transportation and Warehousing
5.9
8.8
9.1





Wholesale
The wholesale industry plays a critical role in delivering products to its consumers. Workplace errors caused by drug and/or alcohol abuse could have potentially devastating consequences to a business. Employees' safety is jeopardized as well as the safety of those around them and the safety of their customers.

Position
Current
Illicit Drug Use %
Current Heavy 
Alcohol Use %
Past Year 
Substance Use
Disorder %
Wholesale trade
7.8
10.2
10.4







Federal government survey - Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health
 


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