Worker Drug Use and Workplace Policies and Programs: Results from the 1994 and 1997 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse
The prevalence of current illicit drug and heavy alcohol use was higher among younger workers, especially the youngest workers, than among older workers. In 1997, about 13.5 percent of 18 to 25-year-old workers, 7.2 percent of 26 to 34-year-old workers, and more than 6 percent of 35 to 49-year-old workers, reported current illicit drug use.
Male workers were twice as likely to report current illicit drug use as female workers (10% vs. 5%) in 1997.
White non-Hispanic workers reported higher rates of current illicit drug use than black non-Hispanic and Hispanic workers (9%, 6%, and 5% respectively).
Workers with less than high school education were more likely to report current illicit drug use than workers with higher education and college graduates had the lowest rates. Rates of current illicit drug use were similar for high school graduates and for those with some college education. About 11 percent of workers with less than a high school education reported current illicit drug use, compared with 8 percent for high school graduates, 9 percent for workers with some college education, and 5 percent for college graduates.
The northeast region had the lowest rate of current illicit drug use in 1997 (5.6%); the west and the north central regions seemed to have higher rates of current illicit drug use (9.3% and 9.0% respectively); 7.1 percent of full-time workers in the south region reported current illicit drug use.
In 1997, as in 1994, those who reported the lowest personal income (less than $9,000 per year) also reported the highest rates of current illicit drug use. The lowest income group reported a 14.5 percent current illicit drug use, compared with 8.6 percent for those whose reported income was $9,000-$19,999, 6.7 percent for those whose reported income was
20,000-$39,999 and $40,000-$74,999, and 9.3 percent for those whose reported income was over $75,000. Between 1994 and 1997, there were no statistically significant differences in the rates of current illicit drug use reported by full-time workers by any of the demographic characteristics.
This page was last updated on December 30, 2008.