Year of Award
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
College of Business & Professional Studies
employers, employee, drug testing, dealing, prohibition, marijuana, LSD, heroin, prescription
An executive of a large corporation recently referred to drug abuse as "the most serious problem facing American business in the next decade." Millions of men and women are abusing chemical substances, and most of them are employed somewhere, taking home full salaries for working at two thirds the capacity of healthy workers, enjoying employee benefits while having four times as many accidents, costing everyone billions of dollars in extravagant health and injury claims.
In the last few years, arbitration and court cases have made it clear that employers cannot afford to ignore this problem any longer. Apart from the fact that drug and alcohol costs over $100 billion a year, employers are responsible for providing a safe, hazard-free environment for workers. Companies have been held liable for failure to remove an employee whose abuse of chemicals endangers coworkers.
Despite this pressure, there is a powerful resistance by industry and business toward most programs challenging the damage that drugs and alcohol inflict on the workplace. But to effect any real change; it is essential for employers to get involved. By instituting an aggressive drug and alcohol policy, by training supervisors to document and intervene on behalf of impaired employees, and by providing opportunities for treatment, employers can make a difference not just in business but in the homes and schools and neighborhoods of this country.
Employers can take the lead and make a difference in controlling drug abuse. In the next 10 years our government is going to spend several billion dollars to stop the illegal importation of drugs. This paper recommends to business an approach that will cost only a fraction of that amount. But, in the end, business and the whole country will benefit from the program because it aims not just to root out addicts and alcoholics but to change the tolerance our society has toward the use and abuse of chemicals.
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Childers, Keith Joseph, "Substance Abuse in the Workplace" (1989). Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects. 488.
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