Drugs in the Workplace Study: Architects & Engineers Prefer Alcohol

June 18, 2015

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Compared with many other industries, the Engineering and Architecture community has a relatively low abuse/dependence rate (7.9%) on any substance, and alcohol is the substance these design professionals are most likely to be dependent upon. This is according to a 2010/2011 national survey completed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“Coping with substance abuse and dependence is a big enough challenge on its own, but balancing both an addiction and a career can pose an even bigger struggle. The impact of drug abuse on workplaces is astronomical, costing the United States $120 billion in lost productivity in 20071. Alcohol abuse is similarly widespread, with 15% of American workers reporting being impaired by alcohol while at work at least once during the previous year2. And the effect on safety can be potentially catastrophic: Employees involved in accidents were more than four times as likely to test positive for opiates3. So what are the patterns of substance use across America’s industries?” — Treatment4Addiction.com

You can visit the Treatment4Addiction website for analysis and presentation of the survey data. As you’ll see, while Design Professionals rank mercifully low on this list, Construction Trades & Extraction Workers rank unfortunately high (17.4%), with “heroin as their most disproportionately used substance. Their widespread abuse of a powerful opiate may reflect the prevalence of chronic back pain and untreated injuries in the field.”

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