Workers in mining, construction, and the accommodations and food services industries report the highest rates of alcohol and substance abuse across a wide range of industries, according to the latest analysis of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The survey, published April 16 in The CBHSQ Report, showed that the prevalence of heavy alcohol use in the previous month ranged from a high of 17.5% in the mining industry to 4.4% among workers in health care and social assistance. A total of 19.1% of accommodations and food services workers reported illicit drug use in the past month, compared with 4.3% in public administration.

A comparison of data from 2003-2007 and 2008-2012 also revealed that illicit drug use has increased in the accommodations and food services industries, and in educational services, but decreased in construction workers ( The CBHSQ Report 2015, April 16).

“An extension of this research could examine whether the changes in use rates correspond to either changes in climate in the industries (e.g., attitudes towards substance use, distribution of prevention messages) or shifts in the demographic compositions of the industries across these time periods,” wrote Dr. Donna M. Bush and Dr. Rachel N. Lipari from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. No conflicts of interest were declared.

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