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NSC Statement on DHHS Survey on Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Findings show more than 46 million Americans met the criteria for a substance use disorder in 2021.

January 10, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration this week released its annual survey results revealing the United States is facing mental health and substance use epidemics. Findings from the survey show about one in four adults in the U.S. had a mental illness in 2021, and more than 16% of the country’s population, or more than 46 million people, met the criteria for a substance use disorder. According to the National Safety Council, almost 9% of working adults nationwide have a substance use disorder, and more can be done by employers to ensure employees and their families get the help they need to live their fullest lives.

NSC stands ready to assist employers in establishing policies that support worker mental health and substance use treatment, and offers extensive resources to help them do just that:

Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit
Impairment Recognition and Response Training for Supervisors
Substance Use Cost Calculator for Employers
Mental Health Cost Calculator for Employers
● Resources to address additional causes of impairment at work including fatigue and mental distress

NSC will continue to call on employers to develop recovery-friendly workplaces, establish policies that support worker mental health and substance use recovery, end addiction stigma, and provide necessary resources the workers in our country need. NSC also stands ready to continue working across public and private sectors to address the nation’s mental health crisis and drug overdose epidemics in order to keep people safe both on and off the job.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for more than 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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