Workplace Adderall & Heroin Abuse on Rise amongst Millennials

Written by Patricia Kotze

In a recent Tech Times report out of northern California, Adderall and Heroin use are popular and on the rise with the Millennial generation for increased productivity while at work.  The amphetamine-based Adderall, often called “Addies” typically prescribed for those with ADHD, have an immediate release for stimulation and is reported to be used by employees from Wall Street finance personnel to warehouse distribution and manufacturing floors in small to large employers throughout the country. If used improperly, addiction and overdose are serious risks; even as a prescription drug, the possession sale or distribution of Adderall is illegal and a crime. The safety implications while under the effects of this drug are real, especially since the amount ingested is more than the actual prescribed dosage.

Heroin, an illegal opiate drug is emerging prominently among younger workers between 20 and 30 years old.  The growing problem in the workplace is approaching epidemic proportions in certain areas of the country. According to Global HR, numbers have skyrocketed from 100,000 users in 2007 to approximately 700,000 users in 2013. An average cost for one dose of heroin is only $10.00 and is typically snorted by employees while on the job. The side effects of heroin use can dramatically compromise the employees’ safety and that of their co-workers, costing the employer hundreds of thousands of dollars in accident claims, rising insurance costs and potential deaths.

The liability for the employer here is huge and pre-employment drug screening is proven to not be enough due diligence after the applicant is hired and has successfully passed the test.  Random drug testing is a practice that more and more companies are looking to adopt but must be implemented as a company policy that has the blessing of a labor employment law attorney to help prevent potential litigation.  Additionally, yearly training for managers, supervisors and all employees in substance abuse awareness and prevention will put the spotlight on the signs of use and addiction, along with how to prevent and ultimately treat the employee who has a problem with an addiction before it ends in tragedy.   Employees using these drugs are costing higher business and health insurance premiums and have a potential for injuries and death.

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