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Many Illegal Drug Users Are Working


Did you know that 75 percent of the nation's illegal drug users are employed, and more than 3 percent have actually admitted using drugs before or during work hours? Plus, 79 percent of the nation's heaviest alcohol users are employed, and more than 7 percent say they have consumed alcohol during the workday. If you do not have a program in your workplace that includes drug testing and drug abuse prevention, consider implementing one and ensuring the safety and health of your employees.

There are many projects, big and small, that an employer can undertake to spread the message. Here are a few ideas that the Department of Labor and others suggest:

In enacting drug and alcohol prevention policies and EAPs, employers must observe federal laws. The myriad of such laws makes the waters a bit murky but not unmanageable.

Drug tests can be used during pre-employment, after an accident occurs at the workplace, for cause, at random, periodically, or before an employee returns to duty (e.g., after rehabilitation or other treatment). Keep in mind, however, that Oregon state laws place restrictions on workplace drug testing, so be sure to do your homework before enacting any policies or testing procedures.

This article appeared in the October 1, 2009 issue of Daily Journal of Commerce.


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