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NCJ Number: 140168 Find in a Library
Title: Drugs in the Workplace: Overstating the Problems and the Cures
Journal: Journal of Drug Issues  Volume:22  Issue:4  Dated:(Fall 1992)  Pages:923-937
Author(s): S H Crow; S J Hartman
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 15
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These authors present evidence to suggest that the incidence of workplace substance abuse has been exaggerated, discuss the misperception that drugs are a serious problem for American employers, and draw conclusions for management and human resource personnel.
Abstract: Estimates of economic and productivity losses due to alcohol and drug use are often based on flawed statistics or on faulty logic inherent in concepts such as "lost earnings." Several studies have shown that workplace costs of alcohol and drug abuse are lower than expected and may be less than the costs borne by these companies to sponsor anti-drug programs. The authors believe that the moral panic concerning the perceived drug epidemic in America is overstated, given the low numbers of Americans who use illicit drugs and the relatively high tolerance of legal substances. Closely related to moral panic, and instigated by many of the same causes, is the neo-temperance movement which has shaped public attitudes and biases toward drug users. The media, politicians, and drug entrepreneurs have been instrumental in promoting this movement. The current reliance on drug testing as an effective solution to the drug problem is based on unproven assumptions: that there is an extensive substance abuse problem in the workplace, that drug testing deters drug use, and that drug testing is cost effective. 37 references
Main Term(s): Substance abuse in the workplace
Index Term(s): Drug law enforcement; Employee drug testing; Public Attitudes/Opinion
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