According to SHRM.org, substance abuse became extremely prevalent during the pandemic, primarily in the remote work sphere. “Amid the pandemic, mental health and substance use disorders have worsened, in some cases significantly, including the use of alcohol and recreational drugs during the workday. Of particular concern is the rising rate of opioid addiction and related deaths.” (SHRM) What can be attributed to this spike in drug use? According to Pam Nabors, president and CEO of staffing agency CareerSource Central Florida, “high unemployment coupled with an increase in remote work at the height of the pandemic created a condition in which services were scarce or workers didn’t know how to access them,” leading to some mental health problems and consequently an increase in substance use. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between April 2020 and April 2021, 100,000 fatalities were recorded related to substance abuse, reaching a 12-month all time high level.
Not only is substance abuse prevalent within remote workers, but it is also affecting the ability of employers to hire and even keep workers in companies. While some are not addicted to alcohol or drugs themselves, there are damaging effects on the person when a loved one does have such addiction and they require help. As Nabor continues to depict, “the addiction of a family member can wear on the employee’s productivity.”
The Sierra Tucson’s Addiction Treatment Center performed a Self-Medication Nation Survey of 1,011 employees across the United States and found the following startling statistics: “One-quarter of respondents had participated in a Zoom or Microsoft Teams work call while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other recreational drugs. One in 5 admitted they've used alcohol, marijuana or other drugs while employed remotely this year; 73 percent of those said that if their employer insists they return to the office, they will miss the opportunity to use marijuana and other drugs during the workday. More than one-quarter said an added benefit of working from home is the opportunity to use alcohol and other drugs during the workday.” (Sierra Tucson Addiction Treatment Center)
This symposium will provide a space for policymakers, employers, employees and companies to have an open discussion about substance abuse within the remote work sphere and the negative impact that the pandemic has had on the mental health of working-class citizens. This discussion will allow people to share their experience with remote work and the use of recreational drugs and alcohol, as well as allow companies, Human Resources managers and policymakers to adequately address mental health within the workspace and learn how to provide further assistance to those struggling with this phenomenon.
If you’re interested in promoting your company, products and/or services at our events, please click here to enter your details and we will contact you directly.
Alternatively, please call
+1424 258 9080 for more information.