Many Workers Drink and Use Drugs While on the Job

By Staff Writer

A far greater number of individuals may use drugs and alcohol while at work or just before arriving at the office or worksite than previously thought, according to a new study published in the journal Addiction. The findings suggest that these individuals may be putting their coworkers at risk unless they seek addiction treatment.

A team of Australian researchers reviewed data from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which was conducted in 2007 and asked more than 23,000 residents of the country about their experiences with substance abuse.

Results of the investigation showed that about one 20 individuals reported drinking while at work or just before arriving at work. Furthermore, about one in 50 said they used drugs during the course of their workday.

The researchers said that their findings have important implications for workplace safety. While most of the people surveyed said that they did not believe their substance abuse impaired their ability to work safely, many people underestimate the effects of drugs and alcohol. Even just having a couple beers or smoking a joint in the parking lot after work could lead to serious traffic-related consequences.