the drunken worker was disapproved, especially among the Puritans, drinking in the workplace was considered normal behavior. Drinking was long associated with hard work." The condemnation of alcohol and drug use in the workplace is a relatively recent reaction, arising largely over the past 100 years. Ames (1989), in her historical review of the influence of alcohol-related movements on drinking in the American workplace, points out, however, that many workplaces have been slow to integrate policies that reflect changes in society's views of alcohol. Indeed, in the past year, employees of a well-known Washington hotel were picketing the establishment over the management's attempt to abolish their contractual right to consume three beers per shift.
Recently, there has been increased awareness of the costs related to alcohol and drug abuse on the job. This may be due, at least in part, to the publicity given two recent tragic accidents, the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska and the Amtrak train crash in Maryland, as well as to the "war on drugs" policies of the Reagan and Bush administrations. The effects of such events on perceptions of the alcohol and other drug abuse problem remind us that what constitutes unacceptable drug use varies not only across cultures but also within a culture. The perception of illicit drug use as a significant social problem in contemporary America is the product of social attitudes and perceptions that are shaped by policy makers and others in influential positions (Humphreys and Rappaport, 1993). Yet this does not mean that the problems associated with drug use lack reality. Drug use can have a devastating effect on the quality of life for both individuals and society. The problems associated with drug use, both licit and illicit, are complex and varied. They are not amenable to quick and easy solutions, for example, by simple slogans or by the appointment of a new drug czar.
A few scenarios illustrate the diversity of the problems associated with drug use by the U.S. work force:
John's boss wanted him to make the sale. If the company could unload those extra parts, perhaps they could forestall a deficit for the quarter. John was given a liberal expense account; he was to wine and dine the prospective buyers before talking business. The restaurant was top of the line, and the liquor, expensive. When John woke up the next morning, he couldn't remember whether he made the sale, the terms of the bargain, or even how he got home.
Hazel had worked hard to get where she was. She worked days and took cosmetology courses at night. She then worked in her girlfriend's beauty shop and finally was able to save and borrow enough to open her own shop. After three years, she had a thriving business. Hazel smoked marijuana from time to time, and it caused her no problems. So when she was offered cocaine by her cousin, she thought nothing of it. Within six months, she was using cocaine regularly; within a year, she was using it in the back