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General Services

Note: The following statistics should not be attributed to the U.S. Department of Labor, but rather their respective footnoted sources listed at the bottom of the page.

Many service employers wrongly believe that substance abuse is a problem only in industries that have "safety-sensitive" positions-jobs requiring the operation of vehicles, machinery and tools. However, the general services industry pays a high price for substance abuse. It is the nation's largest employer of people in "security-sensitive positions"-jobs through which employees have access to financial records, maintain confidential information or are privy to a company's ideas or product plans. Mistakes made by employees impaired due to abuse of alcohol or other drugs have far-reaching consequences. In order to ensure the security and success of their enterprises, America's service employers must have workplaces that are alcohol and drug free.

A Federal government survey revealed that rates of substance use among employees in a range of general services fields are as follows:1

Service Category

Current Illicit Drug Use (%)

Past Year Illicit Drug Use (%)

Current Heavy Alcohol Use (%)

Business and Repair Services

11.1

19.8

9.7

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate

5.4

14.6

4.5

Personal Services

10.3

19.3

5.8

Professional and Related Services

4.2

11.05

3.1

Public Administration

3.7

8.8

7.2

The good news is that more and more general services industry employers, ranging from large international corporations to small locally owned businesses, are implementing drug-free workplace programs to ensure productive workforces and safe workplaces — company features that ultimately result in increased profitability and success.

Endnotes:
1 US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (1996). Drug Use among US Workers: Prevalence and Trends by Occupation and Industry Categories. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services.