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Worker Drug Use and Workplace Policies and Programs: Results from the 1994 and 1997 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

Drug use among U.S. workers has been associated with a host of economic, social, and public health problems (National Research Council, 1994). An important step to understanding the battery of problems associated with drug use among workers is to understand the current prevalence of drug use among workers. Using the 1994 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), the Office of Applied Studies published a report -- An Analysis of Worker Drug Use and Workplace Policies and Programs -- that described the prevalence of illicit drug use and heavy alcohol use among full-time workers and workplace policies and programs addressing drug and alcohol use. The report was based on a special module designed to collect data on drug use among U.S. workers and these workers= company policies on drug use. This module was repeated in the 1997 NHSDA. The purpose of this report is to update the previous report using the 1997 data, extend the analysis to include multivariate modeling, and estimate the changes from 1994 to 1997 in the prevalence of illicit drug use and heavy alcohol use among full-time workers, and workplace policies and programs that address drug and alcohol use. This report examines the (1) the prevalence of current illicit drug use and heavy alcohol use among workers employed in various occupations and different sized establishments, (2) demographic characteristics of workers who reported illicit drug use and heavy alcohol use, (3) employee reports of their workplaces= information, policies and programs about drug and alcohol use, (4) various drug testing programs at these workplaces, and (5) the interrelationships among the workers= characteristics, workplace attributes, and workers= current illicit drug use and current heavy alcohol use.

This page was last updated on December 30, 2008.