An Important Message to Employers in West Virginia

Drug abuse in the workplace causes insurance and workers compensation rates to rise, taking money away from employees and the company as a whole.

Put Work Force West Virginia to work for your company

Enroll in WorkForce's West Virginia's free services for employers

Substance Abuse Costs Businesses Billions of Dollars

Substance abuse costs businesses in the United States billions of dollars in expenditures for health care, workplace injuries, disability payments and loss of productivity. In 2007, approximately 60% of adults with substance dependency issues were employed full-time resulting in an average of $276 billion a year in extra costs to businesses.

Studies show that when compared with drug free employees, substance-abusing employees are more likely to:

  • Change jobs frequently
  • Be late or absent from work
  • Be less productive
  • Be involved in a workplace accident
  • File a workers' compensation claim

Many drugs come with potentially harmful side effects that can have serious and long-term effects on your health. Along with that, there are many consequences of drug abuse in the workplace.

Some side effects include nausea, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, disorientation, tremors, seizures, coma, paranoia and psychosis. These can be especially dangerous inside a workplace where people are depending on others to be conscious of their surroundings and promote productivity, high morale amongst workers, and staff dependability.

Signs of Substance Abuse

There are several signs of substance abuse:

Performance problems:

  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Increased mistakes caused by carelessness
  • Reduced productivity
  • Poor judgment

Issues with attendance:

  • Increased absenteeism
  • Excessive use of sick leave
  • Frequent, extended lunch breaks
  • Unexplained disappearances from the job

Attitude and physical appearance:

  • Argumentative, confrontational with coworkers
  • Neglectful
  • Personal appearance deteriorates
  • Unsteady gait
  • Sloppy work product
  • Increased supervision required
  • Lazy disposition

Health and safety hazards of substance abuse:

  • Increased involvement in accidents
  • Participating in risky behaviors
  • Indifference towards safety rules
  • Careless handling and maintenance of safety-sensitive machinery
  • Disregard for the safety of others

The West Virginia Division on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
(304) 558-0627