Costs of Addiction

Employer Costs
  • Untreated addiction in the workplace costs employers $1,700 per employee per year.
  • Health care costs for employees who have addiction problems are twice those for other employees.
  • An estimated 500 million workdays are lost annually due to addiction problems.
  • Drug and alcohol addiction results in $263 billion in lost productivity each year.
  • Workers with alcohol problems were nearly three times more likely than others to have injury-related absences.
  • Employees with addiction problems function at about two-thirds of their capability and are three times more likely to be late for work.
  • People who an alcohol problem use twice as much sick leave as other employees and are five times more likely to file workers compensation claims.
  • Up to 40% of industrial fatalities and 47% of industrial injuries can be linked to alcohol problems.
  • One in four workers reports drinking during the workday at least once in the past year.
  • Greater turnover – individuals with addiction problems are more likely to report having worked for three or more employers in the previous year.
  • 67% of HR professionals believe that addiction is one of the most serious issues they face in their company.
  • Only one in five HR professionals say their company openly and proactively deals with employee addiction issues.
  • The most significant problems that companies experienced due to addiction are absenteeism (62%); reduced productivity (49%); missed deadlines (31%); and increased health care costs (29%).
Economic and Health Care Costs
  • Economic costs of addiction are estimated to be $428 billion a year in the US.
  • The economic burden of addiction in the United States is twice that of any other disease affecting the brain, including Alzheimer’s.
  • Addiction is a serious driver of health care costs, estimated at $215 billion annually.
  • Individuals with addiction have higher rates of other chronic physical illness, mental health problems and infectious disease.
  • Almost half of all emergency room visits for trauma and/or injury are alcohol related.
  • Individuals with addiction problems use four times as many hospital days as non-drinkers.
  • 35% of emergency room patients with an occupational injury are problem drinkers.
  • Heavy drinking contributes to illness in each of the top three causes of death: heart disease, cancer and stroke.
  • One in 14 hospital stays involves addiction.
  • 14% of patients admitted to hospitals have addiction problems.