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Marijuana in the Workplace: Occupational Health Professionals

Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder by Industry

Substance use negatively affects U.S. industry through lost productivity, workplace accidents and injuries, employee absenteeism, low morale, and increased illness. U.S. companies lose billions of dollars a year because of employees’ alcohol and drug use and related problems.1 Research shows that the rate of substance use varies by occupation and industry.2 The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) gathers information about substance use and dependence or abuse. NSDUH defines illicit drugs as marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin, or prescription-type drugs used nonmedically.3 Heavy alcohol use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on 5 or more days in the past 30 days. NSDUH also includes a series of questions to assess symptoms of dependence on or abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs during the past year. These questions are used to classify persons as dependent on or abusing substances based on criteria in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).4 In this report, dependence on or abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs is referred to as a “substance use disorder.” (Read more: source: samsha.gov)