Substance abuse is a growing health concern, but what of the economic impact? Inactive or unproductive employees lead employers and locals to deal with substance abuse as the problem continues to have financial consequences.
Employers are encountering more and more drug addiction in the workforce. Not only are accidents more frequently caused by employees working under the influence, the hiring pool is limited.
Addiction centers have seen a few trends over the years, the biggest being that patients appear to be getting younger and younger. Many have never even held a job before. After recovering from addiction, they will have to learn a brand-new trade and become accustomed to the workplace for the first time.
In addition to the economic impact of fewer productive workers in society, there is the issue of publicly-funded treatment centers filling up on a daily basis. Many recovering addicts end up returning two or three times before actually abstaining from drug use.
One Example Is State Of Alaska
Alaska is one state that is confronting the economic situation caused by drug abuse in their area. In 2010, the impact on the state’s economy from drug abuse was an approximate $1.2 billion, with $673.2 million from lost productivity.
Of an estimated 16,951 adults seeking help for substance abuse, 42.8 percent are low-income. The state spent approximately $35 million providing treatment in 2010.
Experts say that drugs affect all demographics, no matter what the race, age, or status. People in their forties and fifties may be in the same clinic with eighteen-year-olds who have never held a job. The baby boomer generation recently saw a surge in drug abuse.
One notable change, however, is that those admitted to treatment facilities seem to be getting younger and younger. Not only have that, a large percentage seemed to be women. More and more of those in their prime job-building or family-building years are being hooked by drugs.
Approximately 21,000 Alaskans age twelve and older are addicted to alcohol. Alcohol is considered a gateway drug leading to heavier substance abuse.
Increases in drug use leads to a rise in criminality. Drug or alcohol-related incarcerations led to a productivity loss of $63.7 million in 2010. Addicts often go to desperate measures in order to obtain their next fix, many turning to burglary and even murder just to get what they want.
Signs Of Drug Addiction
Experts urge employees to watch for signs of drug addiction in their fellows and encourage them to seek treatment right away. Be alert to the following signs in the workplace:
• Being frequently late
• Extended breaks or lunches
• Avoiding job supervisors
• Frequent accidents on or off the job
• Unexplained absences from work, including excessive use of sick leave
• Changes in work performance, such as suddenly becoming sloppy or careless
• Poor personal hygiene
• Physical changes such as weight gain or weight loss
• Severe mood swings
• Unusual, unexplained behavior
If you see any of the above signs or notice drug paraphernalia do something about the problem. The best action to take is to get an addicted person help through treatment. This will allow him or her to focus on the underlying reasons behind the problem. It will also help to break the cycle of drug use and even can offer a physical component to handling the problem. This can aid in detoxification and handling physical drug cravings.
The Narconon program offers all of the above and aids in full recovery from addiction where seven out of ten graduates remain drug free.
For more information or to find a Narconon center contact us today.