Surprising Stats on Drugs in the Workplace

workplace drug use
Workplace Drug Use

“Seven in 10 Americans have used drugs while at work, including opiates, amphetamines, and cocaine.”

This article was published in The Business Journals on January 18th, 2018.

By Melissa Wylie, Bizwomen reporter

Seven in 10 Americans have used drugs while at work, including opiates, amphetamines, and cocaine, according to a survey from treatment website Detox.

However, the industries where workers regularly get high don’t always match perceptions. For example, retail had the highest number of workers who reported taking drugs at work – 14.07 percent – although survey respondents expected food and beverage to be at the top top of the list.

Detox surveyed 1,121 professionals who admitted to having used drugs in the workplace. Marijuana was excluded from the survey because of varying legality across the U.S.

Most respondents said they use drugs on the way to work or on their lunch break. The car or parking lot is the most common place to consume drugs for 48.03 percent of respondents, while the bathroom is a top choice for 18.4 percent.

To pass workplace drug tests, 31.51 percent of respondents said they use detox drinks and 24.37 percent substitute their urine.

Fifty-six percent of U.S. employers require workers to take pre-employment drug tests, according to Statistic Brain. The annual cost to American companies for drug testing is about $3,750,500,000.

While 32.43 percent of Detox survey respondents said they have done drugs with a coworker, 75.8 percent said they have never sold drugs to colleagues and 58.08 percent said they’ve never purchased drugs from coworkers.

Recent research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 217 workers died on the job in 2016 as a result of an unintentional overdose of nonmedical drugs or alcohol, 30 percent more than in 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported. Drug overdose deaths as a whole surpassed 64,000 in 2016.