Published February 8, 2012
A seminal study at UB’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) reported that during the course of the year “15% of the U.S. workforce has used or been under the influence of alcohol at work.”
This prevalence study of workforce-workplace substance use included data obtained from interviews with 2,800 employed adults, ages 18-65, who resided in the contiguous U.S. and District of Columbia between 2002-03.
Substance use in the workplace occurs:
Since that study, additional important research results about substance use on the job have been released by RIA.
Highlights of research findings in this area included:
8.9 million workers drank alcohol at least once during the workday. Most workers who drink during the workday do so during lunch breaks, though some drink while working or during other breaks.
Illicit drug use in the workforce involved an estimated 14% or 17.7 million workers; illicit drug use in the workplace involved an estimated 3% or 3.9 million employed adults.
These research results have been communicated to various constituencies – individuals, families, medical professionals, addiction treatment providers, other scientists – in multi-media kinds of ways: newspapers, tv and radio, websites and blogs, and peer-reviewed journals. In addition, groups representing the state and federal government, specific employers/occupational groups, and management and human resource agencies in the U.S. workforce have distributed the information to their customers/clients. A selection of those points of dissemination demonstrate RIA’s widespread effort to reach diverse publics with research results.
Newspaper/TV/Radio: NBC News, The New York Times, the TODAY show, NBC's Tonight Show, The Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Reuters, Washington Times, Washington Post, 97ROCK Radio, WABC-TV7-NYC, Canada's Globe & Mail, AP & UPI, WBFO-WBEN Buffalo, NPR's Morning Edition, CNN-Atlanta, FOX News Radio-NYC, CBS Radio-Seattle, WAVE-FM, Hamilton Ontario, Newsday, Washington Examiner, London Ontario's CHRW Radio, The Daily Torreador in Lubbock Texas, The Buffalo News, Buffalo Business First.
Web: newsfromrussia.com/usa, alcoholism.about.com, bestsyndication.com, allheadlinenews.com, upi.com, innovations-report.de, scienceblog.com, psychcare.com, lifesolutionseap.com; lawnandlandscape.com; msnbc.msn.com; breitbart.com/news; theconservativevoice.com; news-medical.net; jjkeller.com/news (a source for DOT/Transportation, OSHA/Workplace Safety, Human Resources, Construction Safety and HazMat/Hazardous Materials regulation compliance products and services); usatoday.com; healthnewsdigest.com; sciencedaily.com; denverpost.com; landscape.com; Society for Human Resource Management (daily online news service); webmd.com; workcover.nsw.gov.au.
Scientific Journals: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Handbook of Occupational Health Psychology, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Journal of Substance Use, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, and Alcohol Research and Health.
Other: U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions; Dept. of Health & Human Services’ HealthBeat radio; U.S. Dept. of Labor's Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace (dol.gov); Workplace Substance Abuse Advisor newsletter; Safety Office of Huron County, Norwalk, Ohio’s county workers; Contractor Magazine; National Trade Publications (magazines); Queens County Bar Association; Professional Lawn Care Workers of America; Maine Office of Substance Abuse; Human Resource Executive Magazine; Assisted Recovery Centers of America in St. Louis, Missouri; Center on Alcohol Marketing & Youth, Georgetown University in D.C.; The Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey Update newsletter; Health magazine; Monitor on Psychology; United Transportation Union news; Life’s Solutions EAP newsletter, Miami, Florida; The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist newsletter; the American Psychological Association Practice Organization’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program.
Download PDF version here.
Since 1994, multi-year awards funding this area of research have added to the local economy by the creation of jobs, paychecks spent in housing, retail, school and entertainment, as well as in the growth of suburban and rural communities in the region. RIA’s 160 staff members reside in and contribute to 18 different local municipalities as taxpayers, consumers, parents, students, volunteers and much, much more. Three prominent NIH-funded studies in this research area include:
1994 - 2000 | $560,000
Work, Alcohol and School Performance Among Adolescents
2000 - 2004 | $1.4 million
Workplace Substance Use: A National Prevalence Study
2007 - 2012 | $2.2 million
Work Stress & Alcohol Use:
A National Study of Unresolved & Unexplored Issues