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How Your Business Pays for Employee Substance Abuse

A recent survey from the National Safety Council (NSC) has revealed a gap between employer perceptions and the reality of employee substance abuse. According to the survey, addictions and substance use disorders can cost businesses between $2,600 and $13,000 for each affected employee. However, only 24 percent of employers believe that drug misuse is a problem that impacts their bottom lines.

Employees who abuse alcohol and other substances are more likely to miss work, be less productive and experience higher health care costs. Here are some facts from the survey that highlight the ways that substance abuse can affect your business:

• Substance use disorders and addictions cost businesses and taxpayers more than $440 billion every year.
• Employees in the construction, entertainment, recreation and food service industries are twice as likely to have a substance use disorder compared to the average U.S. employee.
• Health care costs for employees who misuse prescription drugs are three times higher than for other workers.
• Employees with a substance use disorder miss nearly 50 percent more days of work than their peers.
• Seventy-five percent of all adults with a substance use disorder are currently in the workforce.

If you believe that one of your employees suffers from a substance use disorder, it’s in your best interest to help him or her get treatment. Experts have shown that outside concern is a large factor in getting individuals with substance use disorders into treatment. Additionally, the NSC survey found that businesses can save up to $8,400 by providing assistance to these employees.

Filed under: Property & Casualty — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 10:58 pm April 5, 2017