Substance Use Cost Calculator Methodology and Issue Briefs


The Substance Use Cost Calculator for Employers was designed by the National Safety Council and NORC at the University of Chicago, and funded by Nationwide. This authoritative, easy-to-use tool breaks down the key impacts of substance use in the workforce, calculating the costs of substance use, SUD and the savings of supporting employees through treatment and into recovery.

This document describes in detail the methods behind the numbers.

Alcohol, prescription pain medication, opioid and other substance use disorders are among the most common and costly health conditions affecting Americans. Workplace overdose deaths have increased 536% since 2011 and overdoses are now the cause of nearly one in 10 worker deaths on the job.

However, the impacts of substance use to businesses may not be apparent and many companies remain largely in the dark about the savings they can achieve from supporting employees with SUDs.

The Calculator gives a simple estimate of the financial toll faced by individual businesses and illuminates an area with significant potential for cost reduction and improved productivity. It also helps businesses see how much they can save by supporting employees through treatment and into recovery.

The Issue Briefs

These issue briefs take a deep dive into a variety of other topics related to substance use in the workplace. Learn more about how these specific issues impact the workplace and employees.

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