How many people are on drugs while at work?


Across the board: 3.1% or 3.9 million workers — but it’s not evenly distributed. In some segments of the workforce it’s 28%:

This U.S. national study explored the overall prevalence, frequency, and distribution of illicit drug use in the workforce and in the workplace during the preceding 12 months. Illicit drug use in the workforce involved an estimated 14.1% of employed adults (17.7 million workers). Illicit drug use in the workplace involved an estimated 3.1% of employed adults (3.9 million workers). Illicit drug use in the workforce and in the workplace is not distributed uniformly in the employed population. At-risk, though circumscribed, segments of the U.S. workforce were identified with prevalence rates up to 55.8% for any use of illicit drugs and up to 28.0% for illicit drug use in the workplace. The implications of these data for future theoretical research and for management policy and practice are discussed.

Source: Prevalence and Distribution of Illicit Drug Use in the Workforce and in the Workplace: Findings and Implications From a U.S. National Survey. from Journal of Applied Psychology –

Who’s likely to be on drugs at work?

The strongest and most consistent connection to illicit drug use in the workforce was occupation. High-risk occupations identified for illicit drug use were the arts, entertainment, sports, and media occupations; and food preparation and serving occupations.
Who is most likely to be impaired? Might want to have your lawyer take a urine test before he defends you:
When considering illicit drug use and impairment in the workplace, the high-risk occupations identified were legal, food preparation and serving, and building and grounds maintenance.

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