News Dedicated to a Healthy Workplace October 2012
Drug and Alcohol Use by Employed Adults on the Rise

Among unemployed adults aged 18 or older in 2012, 18.1 percent were current illicit drug users, which was higher than the rates of 8.9 percent for those who were employed full time and 12.5 percent for those who were employed part time. However, most illicit drug users were employed. Of the 21.5 million current illicit drug users aged 18 or older in 2012, 14.6 million (67.9 percent) were employed either full or part time.

The study also found that the current rate of alcohol use was 64.8 percent for full-time employed adults, which was higher than the rate for unemployed adults (54.9 percent). Most binge and heavy alcohol users were employed. Among the 57.9 million adults who were binge drinkers, 43.6 million (75.4 percent) were employed either full or part time. Among the 16.7 million adults who were heavy drinkers, 12.5 million (74.7 percent) were employed.

“The increase in drug and alcohol abuse by employed adults should be a health and safety concern for all employers and workers,” says BarnesCare medical director Scott C. Jones, DO, MPH, FAOCOPM. “Employers with drug-free workplace policies who test new employees post-offer and test existing workers after initial injury and/or within a certified random program, will have safer, more productive workplaces.”

Results from the 2012 national Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings

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