Prescription Drug Abuse and Workplace Absenteeism: Evidence from the 2008–2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
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© 2015, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Prescription drug abuse has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, yet little is known about its impact on workplaces. This study investigated the relation between self-reported misuse of prescription pain relievers and other drugs and self-reported workplace absenteeism. Using data from the 2008–2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health and controlling for confounding factors, the authors found that workers who reported misuse of prescription drugs were about 7% points more likely to report any past-month absenteeism. In addition, they were absent for an additional 0.25 days, compared to workers who did not report prescription drug misuse. The authors did not find evidence that these results varied for prescription pain relievers as compared to other prescription drugs. Future work is needed to study a broader range of workplace outcomes.
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