Straight Talk: Substance Abuse

Straight Talk

Straight Talk

 

Did you know drug abuse in the workplace costs the American economy $81 billion annually? Perhaps even more surprising is that  70% of the 15 million Americans who use drugs are employed. Drug users will try to remain employed above all so that they have money to pay for the drugs.

With such an impact on the American business, The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce and The Frederick County Sheriff’s Department sponsored a Drugs in the Workplace Seminar on March 3, 2015 featuring speaker Mike Gimble. Mike Gimble has been in the field of substance abuse education, treatment and prevention for over 30 years and has developed programs for athletes, coaches and parents, and is certified by the NCAA to provide services to all college athletes across the United States. Mike has served on the SADD National Board of Directors, testified in front of Congress and received numerous awards for his work for those suffering from a substance abuse problem. He has over 40 year’s sobriety himself and brings a first hand knowledge to his presentations.

Mike Gimbel
Mike Gimbel

During the event, Mike discussed the types of drugs that commonly are being used in the workplace. Stimulants are frequently used to enhance performance on the job and common medications that are used to treat ADHD, such as Adderall and Ritalin, are easily available. Students are also using Adderall and Ritalin to help with studying and exams. They are even sharing the drugs at no cost with fellow students.

Sheriff Jenkins displayed for businesses the drugs that are frequently being used. From street drugs like Heroin and Marijuana, to pills such as Molly and prescription medications Oxyconton. He demonstrated ways employees will conceal their drugs in common items like highlighter pens, lipstick tubes, and more. Though it might be easy to think our community doesn’t have a significant drug problem, or that your business isn’t impacted, the statistics suggest otherwise. Frederick County had 98 Heroin related overdoes in 2014, 27 of which were fatal.

The need for Drug Free Workplace Policies and how to develop them were discussed. How does drug testing work and is it right for your business? Where do employers turn to seek help for their employees? There are training programs available to help employers learn the signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse as well as assist businesses with policies and procedures. Employee Assistance Programs are also available.

Business Health is a program of the Frederick Chamber designed to help businesses improve workplace wellness. For more information on Business Health programs, Employee Assistance Programs, and more contact Jenny Morgan at jmorgan@frederickchamber.org or 301-662-4164 x 220. If you think your business or any of your employees has a drug problem or have any questions please feel free to contact Sheriff Jenkins at Frederick County Sheriff’s office 301-600-1532.

 

 

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