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Worker Substance Use and Workplace Policies and Programs

NCJ Number
Sharon L. Larson; Joe Eyerman; Misty S. Foster; Joseph C. Gfroerer
Date Published
June 2007
204 pages
This report presents and analyzes data on substance use among U.S. workers ages 18-64 employed full-time during 2002 to 2004, based on the findings of the 2002, 2003, and 2004 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.
A chapter that estimates substance use among full-time workers by demographic and geographic characteristics reports that past-month illicit drug use among full-time workers ages 18 to 64 was 8.2 percent in each of the 3 years; nearly one out of five workers ages 18 to 25 used illicit drugs during the past month. Another chapter estimates the prevalence of substance use behaviors and disorders by occupation, industry, and establishment size. Of the major occupational groups, food service workers (17.4 percent) and construction workers (15.1 percent) showed a higher prevalence of past month illicit drug use than other occupational groups. A chapter that examines worker reports on drug education programs and policies in their workplaces indicates that 43.8 percent had access to educational information about drug and alcohol use in their workplaces, and 78.7 percent indicated they were aware of a written policy about drug and alcohol use in the workplace; 58.4 percent reported that their employer offered an employee assistance program. A chapter that presents estimates of the prevalence of drug testing in the workplace indicates that 42.9 percent worked for employers who conducted prehiring drug and alcohol testing; and random drug testing at their workplace during the study period was reported by 29.6 percent of the workers. A chapter on employee behaviors and attitudes toward workplace drug testing reports that 46 percent of the workers would be more likely to work for an employer who conducts drug testing before hiring a person. More than half of the workers reported it would make no difference to them if an employer tests employees randomly for drug or alcohol use. Numerous figures and tables, 36 references, and appended description of the survey and statistical methods and measurement