There are many adverse effects that the abuse of drugs and alcohol can have on an individual and the state of Alaska is finding that out as we speak. A report from the McDowell Group research and consulting firm has estimated a $1.2 billion loss to their economy in 2010 and experts are blaming this lack in contribution through employment or household services to drugs and drug addiction, specifically. It’s sort of a vicious cycle and once you’ve been caught, it’s hard to redeem yourself. For example, a teen that gets charged with a DUI will lose his job, in the case that he has one.
But, say that teen is charged with a drug related felony, he will not be able to get a job anywhere. In fact, out of the estimated 16,951 adults that have substance abuse disorders 42.8 percent are considered to be in the low-income bracket.
Approximately $35 million was spent in 2010 in order to treat these low-income individuals. Though low-income individuals seem to make up a great part of this statistic, they certainly aren’t the only ones who struggle with drug abuse and addiction. Drug abuse has spread through most every genre, from teens and young adults to the wealthy middle-aged and the elderly.
Prescription Drug Abuse Could be Culprit
The rise in prescription drug abuse could definitely be behind these statistics. While the abuse of illicit drugs is going down, the abuse of prescriptions has increased. In fact, a recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health was released, which showed that people using cocaine were down at 1.5 million from 2 million in 2002 and 5.8 million in the mid-1980s. Other drugs such as methamphetamine showed a similar trend. The same National Survey on Drug Use and Health concluded that there were 7 million users of “psychotherapeutics” in 2010.
Also, out of the 36,450 overdose deaths in the United States, a shocking 20,044 of those were connected to prescription drugs. This is a figure higher than all other illicit drugs put together. In addition, the number of prescriptions filled for opioid pain relievers, which are some of the most powerful drugs on the market, have recently increased drastically. IN addition, the milligram-per-person use of these prescription opioids in the U.S. has gone from 74 milligrams to a shocking 369 milligrams, with an increase of 402 percent.
Efforts to Keep Work Places “Drug Free” Underway
One company has stepped forward to help control the amount of individuals who are using drugs or alcohol while employed. Frontier Community Services, a non-profit health care provider, acts as a mediator for businesses that are having problems with their employees abusing substances.
After the initial complaint an investigation takes place and a human resources employee decides whether the person was in fact using drugs or alcohol. Then a drug test gives the final verdict and Frontier then decides whether or not to let the employee go. With systems such as this one, employees have a better understanding of the consequences of substance abuse, but sadly it may not be enough.
Programs like the above are something that should be used nationwide to stop substance abuse in the workplace. Drug Free Workplace seminars, drug testing and even pledges of sobriety can be used to improve overall production, cut costs and prevent accidents and problems caused by drug abuse.
Narconon centers provide effective drug prevention and Drug Free Workplace lectures and can help your company implement a program to stop use in the workplace. For more information contact us today.