The first step is problem identification. Drug and alcohol abuse are the nation's number one health problem and the biggest detriment to productivity levels. Substance abuse is detrimental to both the employer and the employee. The cost of employees' substance abuse to business has been well documented. Drug and alcohol abuse is costing American business $39.1 billion annually in lost productivity; the human economic cost may well exceed $100 billion a year. The employer pays with lowered productivity, increased health care costs, increased accidents and absenteeism, and in many instances eventual loss of a valuable employee. The employee pays with the loss of his or her health, increased financial and family problems, loss of respect, and often his or her job (Ammerman 1999).
According to some reports, about one fifth of the workforce may be affected by personal problems of one kind or another. Whether caused by substance abuse difficult working conditions, or personal problems at home, the effects of these problems on productivity can be high, and the costs to the employer can be great. Further, some kinds of "disabilities" may be protected by law from arbitrary employer reaction. ...Show more