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Drug Use Among U.S. Workers: Prevalence and Trends by Occupation and Industry Categories

NCJ Number
J P Hoffmann; A Brittingham; C Larison
Date Published
180 pages
This report presents data on illicit drug use and heavy alcohol use among full-time US workers based on the 1991-1993 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.
The report shows the percentage of full-time workers, ages 18-49, who reported illicit drug and heavy alcohol use, by specific occupation and industry categories. Key findings are as follows. (1) There was a significant decrease from 1985 to 1993 in the percentage of full-time, part-time, and unemployed workers who reported current and past year illicit drug use, (2) The highest rates of current and past year illicit drug use were found in workers in construction, food preparation, and waiters and waitresses. Heavy alcohol use followed a similar pattern, although auto mechanics, vehicle repairers, light truck drivers, and laborers also had high rates of alcohol use, (3) The lowest rates of current illicit drug use occurred among police and detectives, administrative support, teachers, and child care workers and the lowest rates of heavy alcohol use among data clerks, personnel specialists, and secretaries, (4) In general, unmarried workers (divorced, separated, or never married) had about twice the rate of illicit drug and heavy alcohol use as married workers, (5) Workers reporting three or more jobs in the previous five years were about twice as likely to be current or past year illicit drug users as those who had had two or fewer jobs, (6) About 13 percent of full-time workers reported past year involvement in a mandatory drug test at work. The highest percentage occurred among truck drivers, other transportation drivers, and public safety officials; the lowest rates were among entertainers and writers, lawyers and judges, and teachers, (7) Part-time workers reported a higher rate of illicit drug and heavy alcohol use than full-time workers, with the highest rate among workers in construction, farming and fishing, and transportation. Notes, tables, appendixes