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Manufacturing

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.

Both domestically and worldwide, American products have long been associated with quality. In today's marketplace, manufacturing industry employers uphold this leading position by carefully balancing technical machinery and human talent. Clearly, manufacturers who abuse alcohol and other drugs threaten not only their colleagues and clients, but also America's well-established reputation as a producer of top-quality wares. By keeping the nation's factories and workshops free of alcohol and drugs, industry employers work to ensure that the label 'Made in America' continues to symbolize the spirit of high-quality craftsmanship that has for so long characterized the nation's manufacturers.

A Federal government survey revealed that workplace substance abuse is a significant problem in both the non-durable and durable goods sectors of the manufacturing industry. Roughly 15 percent of workers in both sectors admit to having used illicit drugs in the last year and about 7 percent report current heavy alcohol use.1

Rates of substance abuse among workers employed in several different areas of the durable goods sector are as follows:2

Category

Current Illicit Drug Use (%)

Past Year Illicit Drug Use (%)

Current Heavy Alcohol Use (%)

Electrical Machinery

5.6

10.3

2.7

Lumber and Wood Products

8.9

15.8

12.0

Machinery

6.7

12.7

7.3

Metal Industries

6.8

21.4

10.0

Professional Equipment

7.7

16.0

7.3

Transportation Equipment

4.8

13.4

8.2

Rates of substance abuse among workers employed in several different areas of the non-durable goods sector are as follows:3

Category

Current Illicit Drug Use (%)

Past Year Illicit Drug Use (%)

Current Heavy Alcohol Use (%)

Apparel Products

6.8

11.5

3.8

Chemical Products

3.6

9.6

9.5

Food Products

10.3

18.4

8.3

Paper Products

8.0

12.7

5.3

Printing and Publishing

11.7

24.6

7.2

Rubber and Plastic Products

2.5

11.5

4.1

Textile Products

3.9

10.2

6.1

From large multinational corporations to relatively small businesses, manufacturing firms across the country 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 U.S. Workers: Prevalence and Trends by Occupation and Industry Categories. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.