Although the 2001-2002 Pride Survey indicated that the percentage of students using illicit drugs dropped to 22.3 percent, the lowest level since the 1993-94 school year, we, as corporate leaders, cannot take our eye off the ball. Youth drug abuse poses not only an ongoing problem for our schools and families, but it poses a workforce development and economic business crisis as these young people move into positions in our corporations.
Businesses cannot only prevent adult substance abuse, but also drive down youth drug abuse. And Drug Free Pennsylvania can help. Our Drugs Don’t Work Here program strives to eliminate substance abuse in the workplace by providing comprehensive drug-free workplace policies to businesses across the Commonwealth. By adopting a strong, drug-free workplace, corporations have effectively reduced tardiness and absenteeism rates, lowered the number of on-the-job accidents while increasing employee productivity and improving worker morale.
Drug-free workplaces are a good start, but CEOs need to go one step further. Undertaking and incorporating an effective anti-drug abuse cause-related marketing campaign into a business’ advertising efforts creates a social milieu in which substance abuse including tobacco use becomes less desirable, less acceptable, and less accessible. In short, your businesses can help “de-market” substance abuse to children and parents throughout the community where you are established.
Drug Free Pennsylvania’s Media Partnership offers hard-hitting, effective commercials and ads that are available for tagging and sponsorship by businesses. A cause-related marketing component added to your drug-free workplace efforts can:
1. Focus on environmental change rather than individual change, in keeping with an overall strategy of de-normalizing substance abuse;
2. Grab the public’s attention and influence public opinion in a positive manner; and
3. Give visibility to your employee wellness campaign and set your business apart from that of your competitors.
Business involvement in preventing substance abuse helps your employees, their families and makes good business sense. I urge you to contact our state headquarters at (717) 232-0300 to learn how you can drive drugs out of business.
Chairman, Drug Free Pennsylvania