Drug & Alcohol Use Workplace Policies

Why Companies Introduce Drug & Alcohol Use Policies?

A survey carried out in 2001 by CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) found:

  • 60% of the organisations they had surveyed had a Drink and Drugs Policy
  • 10% had policies on use outside of work
  • Counselling has been identified as the most effective intervention when dealing with an employee who had drug or alcohol problems with disciplinary action as the least effective

Many employers are now using supportive methods to tackle drugs misuse and alcohol misuse in the workplace. Due to the common overlaps between substance misuse with other physical conditions and mental ill health, organisations tend to favour to treat drug or alcohol misuse and dependence as an illness.

Their policies are aimed at getting specialist treatment to support their employees which is recommended as good practice as it encourages employees to seek help early on.

However, drug problems in the workplace are significantly different from alcohol problems as they are often illegal substances and are not usually socially acceptable either.

Many illegal drugs can affect physical and mental health more rapidly than alcohol does, so the earlier the issues at hand can be managed and addressed, the greater the chance there is for rehabilitation and a positive outcome for all concerned.

In fact, some studies have shown that around 60% of employees who are managed well and supported with treatment, return to employment.

Drug and Alcohol issues in the workplace can place a huge burden on productivity causing many challenges for employers therefore, every organisation should have a Workplace Drug and Alcohol Use Policy  

Policies ought to be used to ensure problems are dealt consistently, effectively and should protect employees, encouraging those who are struggling to seek help.

However, drug problems in the workplace are significantly different from alcohol problems as they are often illegal substances and are not usually socially acceptable either.

Many illegal drugs can affect physical and mental health more rapidly than alcohol does, so the earlier the issues at hand can be managed and addressed, the greater the chance there is for rehabilitation and a positive outcome for all concerned.

In fact, some studies have shown that around 60% of employees who are managed well and supported with treatment, return to employment.

Drug and Alcohol issues in the workplace can place a huge burden on productivity causing many challenges for employers therefore, every organisation should have a Workplace Drug and Alcohol Use Policy  

Policies ought to be used to ensure problems are dealt consistently, effectively and should protect employees, encouraging those who are struggling to seek help.

Interested in Introducing Drug & Alcohol Use Policies?

Speak to our addiction specialists in Essex who can help you today.

drug and alcohol use policy

Details of help available regarding drugs and alcohol use should be included in employee handbooks and displayed on posters in or around the premises.

For comprehensive training on managing drug and alcohol misuse in the workplace that provides the skills and tools to support employees who need help, Infinity addictions expertise in treatment can help meet your learning requirements. 

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A Drug and Alcohol Use Policy Should:

  • Be specific what is meant by use
  • Give details of why the policy exists
  • Lay out clearly the rues regarding drugs and alcohol use
  • Explain the help and support available to employees who have problems with drugs or alcohol.
  • Include a statement encouraging staff to seek help voluntarily without fear.
  • Give specifics of when disciplinary procedures may be used 
  • Have arrangements in place to support staff who need help and how to seek it.

It is important when introducing a drug and alcohol use policy in any organisation to consult with employees and any of their chosen representatives on the matter of health and safety at work. Doing this should involve listening to them, taking account of what they say and feel whilst providing them with information on why a drug and alcohol policy may be needed.

You could even ask them if they are aware of the effects of drugs and alcohol, the potential impact on health and safety, the rules that are required. Offering awareness training is always a good step to help employees understand the needs of your business. 

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