Drug and alcohol impairment in America's workforce is a growing problem. According to studies by the Center for Substance Abuse and SAMHSA, 22.6 million Americans used illicit drugs in the past month. 66% of those users are employed. 3.1% of workers admitted to using drugs before or during work hours in the previous year.
Drug and alcohol impairment in the workplace presents a danger to employees and the public, causes increased workplace accidents, increased absences, decreased productivity, and lower morale.
In this episode, we speak with Peter Lowe about impairment in the workforce. We talk about the prescription drug pandemic, medical marijuana laws, the new recreational marijuana laws in Washington and Colorado, and the conflicts between federal and state laws. We discuss whether "medical marijuana user" is a new protected class, and how medical marijuana relates to the ADA. We wrap up the discussion with some recommendations for employers on what workplace alcohol and drug policies they should have in place, and how to enforce those policies.