The Council on Alcohol and Drugs is partnering with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce to increase the number of drug-free workplaces in South Carolina. State certified drug-free workplaces will receive a state-mandated five percent discount on workers’ compensation insurance premiums. In addition, South Carolina Chamber members receive a $25 discount on the Drug Council’s $150 membership fee.
Council on Alcohol and Drugs Coordinator for South Carolina Shelly Davis says a drug-free program increases productivity. “When you set up a drug-free program, you have a policy that your employees have to adhere to,” says Davis. “You have drug testing, and you have education for the employees and supervisors. And you have an employee assistance program, so that if they turn up positive on a test, there’s a way for them to get help.”
The Council on Alcohol and Drugs is a 40-year-old national organization which has assisted more than 9,700 companies in 12 states in achieving certification as drug-free workplaces.
Davis says drugs in the workplace are more common than many people imagine. “Almost 77 percent of current drug users are employed,” she says. “And a third of employees knows about the sale of drugs in their workplace but there’s often no program in place and no way to cut down the numbers.”
Davis says her organization sees all different types of drugs in the workplace, from opiates to alcohol. She says marijuana use is a very common problem.
Julie Scott is Public Relations Manager for the South Carolina Chamber. She says it’s a win-win situaion for everyone, including the employees. “We believe that a drug-free workplace is a more productive workplace,” she says, “and drug-free employees are healthier employees.”
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce was the nation’s first state chamber that was Accredited with Distinction by the U.S. Chamber. It has more than 6,500 member companies statewide.