Miners most likely to be Heavy Alcohol Users; Hotel and Restaurant Workers most likely to Use Illegal Drugs

Saturday, May 09, 2015
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

The latest federal data on substance abuse by profession shows miners lean heavily on alcohol, while those who work in hotels and restaurants are most likely to use illegal drugs.


The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed heavy alcohol use within the previous month among full-time employees was most likely to occur among miners, with 17.5% having done so, followed by those in construction, accommodations and food service, arts, entertainment and recreation, and utilities industries. Health care and social assistance workers were least likely to be heavy drinkers, with only 4.4% of those workers doing so in the previous month.


Accommodation and food service workers were tops in illicit drug use—and by a good margin, according to the NSDUH. Among that category, 19.5% of those workers had used illegal drugs in the previous month. The rest of the top five industries in that category are arts, entertainment and recreation, management, information, and construction. Those in public administration, at 4.3%, were least likely to have used illicit drugs in the previous month.  


The NSDUH defines illegal drugs as marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin, or prescription-type drugs used non-medically. Heavy drinkers are defined as those who imbibe five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on five or more days in the past 30 days.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder by Industry (by Donna M. Bush and Rachel N. Lipari, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) (pdf)

The Real “Gateway” Drug…Alcohol (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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