High On The Job: Estimated 10-12% Use Drugs At Work

Estimated 10-12% Of Workers Use Drugs At Work

BUFFALO - For awhile, Scott H. made good money selling cars. Some weeks as much as $2,000.

"You come buy a car from me, you’ll never be able to tell I was on heroin, ever.”

But as Scott's drug habit grew, his ability to function at work eventually suffered. 

"I’d fall asleep in the bathroom or close my eyes at my desk. I definitely saw my employees catching on like, ‘What’s going on with you?’, says Scott.

Scott H. is among America's at-work drug-users.

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates 10-12% of the U.S. workforce uses alcohol or illegal drugs at work.

For Nick Gazzoli, a program director at Horizons Health Services, the at-work drug use estimate makes sense.

"Because most people have to work to provide of their life even if part of that is providing for the addition. They have to afford the pill," says Gazzoli.

U.S. Attorney William Hochul also believes workplace drug use exists in Western New York. He points to a number of recent drug seizures by law enforcement.

"Millions and millions of hits of heroin and fentanyl have been successfully interdicted in just the last six months. There’s a reason that quantity of drugs is coming into Western New York. I think the demand is so great,” he said. 

And Hochul says it makes sense that the demand for illegal drugs includes those who are working.

For Scott H., eventually his drug-use grew beyond his ability to work.

"I was barely paying my bills," he said. "Barely had gas in the car. I barely ate because everything was going to the habit.”

 

 

(© 2016 WGRZ)


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