USA Mobile Drug Testing Compliance Consultants continually monitor trends in workplace substance abuse. Our team reviewed last week the recently reported 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), a survey conducted annually by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Overall, the use of illicit drugs among Americans aged 12 and older remained stable since the last survey in 2010. The NSDUH shows that 22.5 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users — (8.7 percent of the population 12 and older in 2011 versus 8.9 percent in 2010). This continues the alarming number of Americans who self report illicit drug use. 8% of those employeed full time continue to use illicit drugs, 11.6% of those employed part time and 17.2% of those unemployeed. Of the 19.9 million current illicit drug users aged 18 or older in 2011, 13.1 million (65.7 percent) were employed either full or part time. To repeat – an alarming 8% of the adult full time working population are using illicit drugs – for every 100 employees in a company, perhaps about 8 of those have a substance abuse problem. For those employing part time workers the problem expands to about 11 out of every 100 part time workers. This can be quite costly for employers who do not take action towards a drug free environment.
Marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug. In 2011, there were 18.1 million past month users. Between 2007 and 2011, the rate of use increased from 5.8 to 7.0 percent, and the number of users increased from 14.5 million to 18.1 million.
Employers must take action on these statistics. The absence of a substance abuse prevention program will continue to increase costs for companies. A comprehensive drug free workplace program can help to lower insurance costs and increase productivity. This is an issue of safety and health, a responsibility no employer can take lightly.
Compliance consultants at USA Mobile Drug Testing are available to assist employers with a needs assessment to determine the appropriate plan for substance abuse prevention.
One bit of good news on this report, the underage tobacco rate of past month use among 12 to 17 year olds continued to decline from 15.2 percent in 2002, to 10.7 percent in 2010 and 10.0 percent in 2011.
Click Here for the complete 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.