2009 Drug-Free Work Week 10/19-10/25, HI-LITES During Drug-Free Work Week, WCK Blog will present a fine article dispelling 10 common myths about substance addiction in the workplace. Follow our blog from October 19th to October 25th to learn some important information and how to manage, as our authors say, “our nationa’s #1 public health and economic workplace challenge.” The latest data* estimates Workplace Substance Addiction annually costs US Employers $250 Billion, and substance related deaths are equal to a jumbo jet plane crash every day. This article dispels some key myths that help perpetuate what is now our nation’s #1 public health and economic workplace challenge. *[SAMHSA, US Dept of Labor, US Bureau of Vital Statistics and Workers Comp Commission ] Myth: Most Individuals addicted to alcohol and/or illicit drugs are unemployed. Reality: More than 75% of substance addicted persons work [SAMHSA 2007]. The rate of substance addicted workers in the average workplace is about 13%. Employer Tip: Search SAMHSA.gov for current substance abuse statistics and free information about prevention and treatment. Workplace addiction can be prevented with innovative best practices that save time, money and lives. Myth: The financial consequences of workplace substance abuse are decreasing. Reality: Employer expenses related to substance abuse are increasing and may exceed $250 Billion per year, based only on the following expenses: – Workers’ Compensation: Substance abusers register 50% of all claims and 5X more claims than average. [National Council on Compensation Insurance] – Health Benefits: Abusers utilize 8X greater health benefits and spend >300% more on healthcare than peers. [US Department of Labor] – Absenteeism: Substance abusers account for 35% of all work absences and are 6X more truant than colleagues. [US Department of Labor] – General: Substance addicted employees are responsible for much higher rates of workplace turnover, theft, accidents, deaths and violence. [Special Congressional Report on Alcohol and Health; US Department of Labor] (workersxzcompxzkit) Employer Tip: Implement Drug Free Workplace (DFW) programs featuring zero-tolerance, high integrity drug testing, measurable performance behaviors, and Lean principles to best and most quickly impact substance-related expenses. Authors: Bill White MSN and Katharine White MSN About the authors: K & B White are leadership entrepreneurs who co-founded DFW-Renaissance Inc. (www.dfw-r.com) and co-developed managerial science innovation DFW-R Lean CultureTM (to create/sustain highly engaged drug free workforces). Both are former hospital C-Suite executives with extensive drug treatment, leadership and behavioral health experience. Look for their upcoming headline article in DATIA Focus on DFW Culture Change and Employee Morale. They can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and phone at 401-615-8775.
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