Seven in 10 Drug Users are Full-Time Workers

Seven in 10 Drug Users are Full-Time Workers
Posted by FoM on September 08, 1999 at 10:52:55 PT
By Laura Meckler -- Associated Press
Source: Canoe News
WASHINGTON -- About 8 percent of full-time workers -- or 6.3 million Americans -- have used illegal drugs in the last month, the government reported today. Workers in restaurants, bars, construction and transportation were more likely than others to use drugs. 
Nationwide, seven in 10 drug users were full-time workers in 1997, according to a new report that officials hope will dispel notions that most drug users are burned out and disconnected from the mainstream. "The typical drug user is not poor and unemployed," Barry McCaffrey, the White House drug policy director, said a statement. "He or she can be a co-worker, a husband or wife, a parent." The report, issued every few years by the Department of Health and Human Services, found 7.7 percent of workers aged 18 to 49 had used illegal drugs in the past month, a figure that has been steady since 1992. HHS officials were using the report's findings to encourage businesses to establish treatment programs. Increasingly, drug users are working in medium-sized companies, which have the resources to establish these programs, they said. Still, 44 percent of drug users were working for small businesses -- those with fewer than 25 employees, down from 57 percent in 1994 but still the largest category. "Whether you are corporate CEO or a small business owner, you need to know that simple, low-burden, effective steps ... can increase workplace safety and productivity and lower substance abuse and its human and economic effects," said a statement by Nelba Chavez, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the HHS agency that produced the report. The report also found that in 1997: Young adults, men, whites and those with less than a high school education were more likely to use drugs than other workers. Nineteen percent of food preparation workers, waiters, waitresses and bartenders used illegal drugs. For construction workers, it was 14 percent; for transportation and material moving workers, it was 10 percent. Workers who used drugs were more likely to have worked for three or more employers, to have left a job in the past year and to have skipped a day or more of work in the past month. Wednesday, Sep 8, 1999 
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Comment #1 posted by bill on September 08, 1999 at 13:26:10 PT:
These people are so stupid. They think that this study will encourage businesses to do more testing etc? The evidence suggests the opposite! It says that recreational drug users can hold down the responcibilities of an 9-5 job. If the companies aren't able to figure out a drug user by their work quality, what difference does it make?
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