[avatar user=”krider” size=”150″ align=”left”]by Kendra Rider

September is National Recovery Month, a time to reflect on the drug and alcohol abuse that occurs every day and how we can stop this problem from spreading. Not only is substance abuse a health hazard, it affects businesses nationwide.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, drug abusing employees have 300% higher medical costs which in turn increases health insurance rates for employers. Up to 40% of industrial fatalities and 47% of industrial injuries can be linked to alcohol abuse and alcoholism. With almost 10% of employees using drugs in the workplace, that is a lot of money going to drug and alcohol abusers and their medical bills.

Studies that show that a drug abuser functions at about 67% of their capacity. Employees that abuse drugs are three times more likely to be late for work and 2.5 times more likely to have absences of eight or more days. They have an absentee rate of 30-35 days per year.

It is a problem and it affects not only the abusers but their family, friends and coworkers as well. If your coworker is not at work, you may be expected to pick up the work that they were to do for the day. I have personal experience with this at my other job. I have had many coworkers not show up to work due to drug or alcohol related reasons.

Recovery and treatment is so important, especially this month. If drug and alcohol abusing workers were encouraged to get treatment, it would make the workplace more comfortable and consistent. Not only would these drug and alcohol abusers be getting help, but it would lower the costs on businesses as well as injuries and absences.

It is so important to remember that alcohol and drug abuse is a disease and can be treated. This month make sure to keep these things in mind if you see this abuse in the work place. Not only is it affecting you and your coworkers but it is affecting your business as well. BE SMART and GET HELP. To find treatment resources in our area visit our Get Help page.