When Your Job Leads To Substance Abuse Vs Substance Abuse Leading To Joblessness
One of the misconceptions surrounding substance abuse is that drug addicts are unable to hold down a job or maintain any long-term employment.
December 23, 2016
(press release: summitbehavioralhealth) // New Jersey // Maria Ulmer MA, LMFT, CAADC | Chief Clinical Officer
One of the most enduring myths surrounding drug and alcohol abuse is that addiction always leads to joblessness, or that people with addiction disorders float from job to job, unable to hold down steady employment for any length of time.
In reality, the majority of people who suffer substance abuse and addiction are employed. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), 70 percent of American workers who use illegal substances are employed.
The NCADD also points outs several startling facts about what addiction in the workplace looks like and just how many people it affects.
An analysis of workplace fatalities revealed that 11 percent involved alcohol in the victim’s system.
Marijuana and cocaine are the top two most abused drugs among American workers. Prescription drugs are a close third.
A study of hospital emergency rooms showed that 35 percent of patients admitted for an occupation injury were at-risk drinkers.
Is Your Job a High-Risk Profession?
Furthermore, certain professions put an individual at a higher risk for developing a substance abuse problem. The jobs most closely associated with high rates of alcohol abuse include mining, construction, hotel and restaurant workers, and workers in arts and entertainment. Occupations with the highest rates of illegal drug use include hotel and restaurant workers, individuals in the arts and entertainment industries, and management professionals.
In some cases, company culture or peer pressure pushes a worker to use drugs or consume alcohol. If an individual is working long hours, followed by nightly trips to the bar for happy hour, what starts out as a quick round of drinks with friends can become a pattern of negative behavior that leads to abuse.
In other situations, high stress levels and a competitive or demanding environment can cause a worker to self-medicate by turning to drugs or alcohol.
Substance Abuse at Work Can Lead to Accidents
Whether you’re a construction worker or a corporate manager, alcohol and drug abuse can cause impairment and delayed reaction times that put you in danger of experiencing a serious work-related injury.
Individuals who abuse drugs and alcohol are also more likely to engage in dangerous activities. They may also suffer a lack of focus that prevents them from fulfilling their job duties and eventually leads to demotion or termination.
Federal law prohibits employers from firing employees who seek substance abuse treatment. Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave. The FMLA only applies to employers with 50 or more employees who work within 75 miles of the company’s main location, however, some state laws provide additional protection for workers who need time off to seek medical treatment.
Help Is Available. Call Today to Learn More
If your job is contributing to a drug or alcohol addiction, you’re not alone. Help is available. Call Summit Behavioral Health today to explore your treatment options. Local treatment centers are available to help you right in your own neighborhood. Call 1-888-465-4187.