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Survey Highlights Concerns About Substance Use in Food Service Industry

August 30, 2019

More than 40% of food service workers responding to an American Addiction Centers (AAC) survey consider casual substance use to be part of their field's work culture, the addiction treatment organization reported this week.

AAC's survey results indicate that while around two-thirds of respondents reported never having been under the influence of alcohol or drugs while at work, 10% reported being under the influence of drugs on the majority of their shifts. Six percent reported being under the influence of alcohol during most of their shifts.

The percentage of respondents who said they were under the influence of a substance once or twice a week while at work was 7% for both alcohol and illegal drugs.

The culture of substance use in the high-stress food service environment also presents a concern in that the food and beverage industry has traditionally been an attractive employment option for many people in recovery.

“While our results indicate a complicated industry with various degrees of drug and alcohol use, it is clear that the food service industry could do much better to dissuade these behaviors and prove itself a resource to those in recovery,” states an AAC report on the survey findings.

Marijuana was by far the drug most used in work settings, according to the survey. For individuals who have used alcohol at work, 54% said they received the alcohol from the bar at their workplace.

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