According to a new study released by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, maintaining a drug-free workplace policy enables New Jersey businesses to be more productive and more successful.

Nearly eight in ten New Jersey companies reported having a written drug-free policy, and a large majority said the policy has been very or somewhat effective in reducing accidents and worker compensation claims.

“Instituting a drug-free workplace policy is good for business in New Jersey,” said Angelo Valente, PDFNJ Executive Director.

Jersey companies admitted alcohol abuse and illegal drug use are top concerns, with 70-percent reporting alcohol abuse as a problem and 65-percent giving illegal drug abuse the same label.

Why wouldn’t every New Jersey company have a drug-free policy in place? Valente said companies may think the process is cost prohibitive, which isn’t true.

“There are many ways to be able to establish a policy with really minimal cost,” Valente added.

He said PDFNJ currently provides a program to assist business owners with establishing policies. Currently, nearly 2,700 businesses utilize PDFNJ’s workplace services.

Companies may also fear potential legal challenges that come with the implementation of a policy, but Valente said the opposite is true.

“An employer who doesn’t have a policy really would potentially lend itself to lawsuits down the road,” he explained.

Valente said while a written policy is crucial, a comprehensive approach works best. He suggested education for employees, as well as treatment options for those individuals who are currently dealing with substance abuse problems.