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U.S. Secretary of Labor launches Drug-Free Work Week

Activities to occur nationwide October 14 through 20

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao today announced the start of the second annual Drug-Free Work Week, which will begin on October 14 and run through October 20. A collaborative effort of the department and its Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, the campaign promotes the importance of being drug-free to keeping workplaces safe.

"Drug-free workplaces are safer workplaces for workers," said Secretary Chao. "Partners in our Drug-Free Workplace Alliance will be promoting effective programs focused on detection, deterrence and assistance for workers who need help."

The department, alliance members and other organizations across the nation are bringing the Drug-Free Work Week themes to life through a variety of educational activities. These activities are designed to help employers, supervisors and workers learn how to implement effective drug-free workplace programs, focusing on detection and deterrence, while also offering assistance and support for workers who may have problems with alcohol or drugs.

The fact that most drug and alcohol abusers work makes workplace substance abuse an issue that employers and employees cannot afford to ignore. About 75 percent of the nation's illicit drug users (or 13.4 million people) and 79 percent of heavy alcohol users (or 12.9 million people) are employed either full-time or part-time in the adult workforce, according to a 2006 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. By implementing and enforcing drug-free workplace programs, employers can combat on-the-job drug and alcohol misuse, and protect worker safety and health.

In observance of Drug-Free Work Week, the department's Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace program is distributing various educational materials, including fact sheets, "toolbox talks" for construction sites, and posters and stickers with the slogan "working drug free works." Materials and ideas about how to promote drug-free workplace messages -- during the campaign and throughout the year -- are available on the department's Working Partners Web site at

U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit

SOURCE U.S. Department of Labor
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