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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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7.2 Differences between Workers in 1994 and Workers in 1997

Illicit Drug Use

Workplace information about drug and alcohol use, written policies about drug and alcohol use, and EAPs were all more likely to be reported by workers who were not current illicit drug users than were reported by those who were current illicit drug users; the differences between users and non-users, however, was smaller in 1997 than in 1994 and there were no statistically significant differences in 1997.

The percentage of workers reporting their workplaces had each type of drug testing program -- at hiring, randomly, and post-accident, increased significantly between 1994 and 1997. Increases in reports of any drug testing program between 1994 and 1997 were most likely to occur among non-current drug users in small establishments or current illicit drug users in either the medium-size or large establishments. Workers in large establishments were the most likely to say that their workplace had a drug testing program.

The proportion of workers who expressed that they would be less likely to work for an employer who tested for drug use at hiring, randomly or upon suspicion dropped significantly from 1994 to 1997, except for those at small establishments who reported using illicit drugs in the past month.

Heavy Alcohol Use

Unlike the 1994 NHSDA which showed that current heavy alcohol users were more likely to report the availability of workplace information about drug and alcohol use, the 1997 NHSDA did not show significant differences between current heavy alcohol users and those who were not current heavy alcohol users. Proportionately more heavy drinking full-time workers age 18 to 49 at medium-size workplaces (25 to 499 employees), reported that their workplaces had a written policy about drug or alcohol use in 1997 than did their counterparts in 1994.

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This page was last updated on December 30, 2008.