Drug abuse in the workplace has reached "epidemic" proportions, said the SA Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) on Wednesday.
Sanca director Shamin Garda said businesses suffered significant losses in man-hours and productivity owing to drug abuse.
"Employee drug abuse costs the South African economy billions each year," she said in a statement.
The drug of choice for high-powered business people is cocaine, but cheaper drugs such as cat and tik are increasingly being used.
"Many corporates have had to approach Sanca to provide employee assistance programmes," said Garda.