Unfortunately, prescription drug addiction is a real and terrible issue, one which affects millions of Americans every day. In addition to hurting the individual, this disorder can also have many negative impacts on the user’s family and workplace. In addition to the terrible human toll that prescription drug abuse exacts on people, it also has a major economic impact, costing American businesses billions of dollars every year. Here’s a look at just how costly prescription drug addiction can be to a business.
Testing has shown that roughly 54 million people over 12 have abused prescription drugs at least once. This means that millions of people have been affected by prescription drug addiction in some way, and that often leads directly to employee absenteeism. Addiction to pills can cause people to skip work for the day, and they might stop coming to work entirely. Thankfully, many people get themselves into treatment, but the sick leave they require can often lead to an extended absence from work.
There’s no question that drug addiction can negatively impact productivity, and this occurs even if the employee in question is still functional. This happens for many reasons but chiefly because an employee who is addicted is not going to be working at their peak levels. Over time, drug addiction can hurt the cognitive processes and physical condition of someone who is addicted. They will be less able to function in the workplace and unable to fulfill the responsibilities of their job.
There is a reason why you are not supposed to be intoxicated by any substance — alcohol, pills or other — when you’re at work. Many prescription drugs can alter your state of mind as well as your reflexes and reaction times, causing massive safety concerns. Unfortunately, there are many cases where addiction to prescription drugs has led to injuries and fatalities in the workplace. The addiction epidemic has resulted in an entirely new field of safety concerns, as employers now have to monitor those who work for them in order to ensure that they are not intoxicated. Regular testing can help make managers aware of their employees’ problems, but this can be expensive and time-consuming.
In the modern workplace, concerns over drug addiction are all too common. Human decency and economics dictate that you work to help employees be more aware of the problem and make treatment options available to them. Prevention is always cheaper than treatment. Make sure your employees know how to get help if they need it.
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