Chesterton Tribune



Small business owners urged to complete substance abuse survey

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The Duneland Chamber of Commerce is urging small-business owners and operators to complete a survey about substance-abuse in the workplace.

“Drugs and alcohol can take a tremendous toll on your business,” the Chamber said in a statement released on Tuesday. “It’s estimated that 87 percent of drug and alcohol abusers work at a small business. And the costs can be huge.”

For example:

* Fifty percent of all Workers’ Compensation claims can be linked to drug and alcohol use.

* Nine out of 10 alcoholics and seven out of 10 drug addicts are employed.

* Employees using drugs and alcohol are 10 times more likely to miss work.

* Over half of serious workplace accidents are drug or alcohol related.

* A single employee abusing drugs or alcohol can cost your business $7,000 annually.

The survey is a joint initiative of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, the Portage Chamber of Commerce and EMPOWER Porter County.

The results of the survey will be utilized to develop programs and materials specifically directed at helping small business owners protect their employees and their bottom line, by increasing productivity, reducing risk of injury and helping to control insurance costs.

The survey can be found at

EMPOWER Porter County was founded in December 2012, as a single member LLC of the Porter County Community Foundation. It has received multi-year funding commitments from the Porter County Commissioners, the City of Valparaiso, the Porter County Community Foundation, United Way of Porter County, Porter Regional Hospital and NIPSCO.

EMPOWER Porter County was created “to be the catalyst that ignites and unites the community to reduce substance abuse and achieve transformational outcomes,” the Chamber said. “It is the framework that will fortify the collaborative work of all sectors of the community to develop strategies to prevent and reduce substance abuse throughout Porter County.”

Those strategies: to foster cooperation and collaboration; to promote community-wide planning and advocacy; to promote leadership development; to develop, gather, and dispense information; to develop and implement a communication plan; and to employ evidence-based practices in the areas of education and prevention, law enforcement, criminal justice and treatment.



Posted 7/10/2013