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The Real Cost of Substance Use to Employers

The National Safety Council and national nonprofit Shatterproof have collaborated with an independent research institution, NORC at the University of Chicago, to design "The Real Cost of Substance Use to Employers" tool.


Substance use disorders affect 20.8 million Americans, almost 8% of the adult & adolescent population, when you include family members of those affected, nearly 1/3 of the US population is impacted by substance use disorder. While 75% of these people are part of the workforce, most employers are unaware of the hidden costs associated with these problems.

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Use our tool to calculate the costs of Substance Use Disorder in your workplace

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75% of adults with substance use disorder are in the workforce

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It is estimated that the yearly economic impact is over $442 billion dollars. Workplaces bear a significant portion of those costs due to absenteeism, increased healthcare expenses and lost productivity.

Workers with pain medication use disorder cost employers more than 3x the healthcare costs of the average worker.

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“The Real Cost of Substance Use to Employers,” is an authoritative, easy-to-use tool providing business leaders with specific information about the cost of substance use in their workplace based on size of employee base, industry and state.

This tool combines the latest research on employment costs with data from National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) to calculate how much substance use in your workforce costs employers.

Each employee with pain medication use disorder costs employees nearly $2,500 in missed work.

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In addition to estimating the financial impact untreated substance use disorder has on your business, we also provide resources to support employers, employees’ and their families’ recovery.