The average employee across all industries with an untreated substance abuse disorder costs their employer an average of $7,000 per year in excess healthcare expenses, absenteeism, and turnover costs. Current Consulting narrowed this down to only safety sensitive industry employees and also took into account lost productivity, cost of replacement / training, risk of injury, death, and downtime at the facility. Once you factor in all of the average costs of an employee with a drug abuse problem, the total cost of a substance-abusing employee in a safety sensitive industry could reach $164,270 on the low end, or up to $1,721,800 in one year.
The large potential cost for a substance abusing employee is a result of the incredibly high cost of single incidents that cause downtime, lawsuits, and injuries in safety sensitive industries. DISA believes a better measurement for the cost of substance abuse by an employee at an individual company is $35,000, or five times the all industry average of $7,000 per year. This takes into account the higher cost of labor, time and effort to train and replace manpower, and the potentially high cost of an on the job injury.