Aug 29

Substance Misuse Awareness For Employers

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Provoked by a requirement to assure safety, well-being and health of visitors and employees, company drugs and alcohol testing has come to be noticeably commonplace across the British Isles. But nevertheless, there still persist several misinterpretations relating to the process, that can most likely give rise to worry among the members of staff being screened.

Substance Misuse Awareness For Employers – Where are the risks?

Some people think that the influence of street drugs in the workplace is a very minor concern. We all have taken notice of Christmas time drink-driving television campaigns and understand that drink-driving and drug-driving is risky, so shouldn’t we be able to depend upon everyone’s judgement? Regrettably, as much as 50% of all road and industrial fatalities across Great Britain involve drink, drugs, or both. Latest figures demonstrate that about seventy percent of illicit drug users are engaged in full-time employment, meaning that the typical illegal drug user is, effectively, the average business employee. Current Home Office studies put the number of 16 to 29-year-olds who have indulged in illegal drugs in the most recent 12 months at a significant fifty percent. In light of this fact, this isn’t someone else’s issue, it affects each and every company. Although the consumption of illegal substances doesn’t necessarily point to a tendency to ignore hazards within the place of work, this does significantly heighten the likelihood of accidents and near misses, absenteeism and attendance issues, a drop in productivity, damage to plant and equipment, being the target of legal action and a more extensive turnover of workforce.

Substance Misuse Awareness For Employers – So what do you suggest? Isn’t random drug screening rather complicated?

Many businesses only conduct an employee drug screen in response to a workplace accident, an incident, or anytime they find reasonable cause for concern or suspect that a worker is unfit to be on active duty. Due to the vast variety of possible hazards associated with industrial workplaces, lots of businesses judge it to be wholly reasonable to conduct testing on these occurrences, as a way to prevent them occurring again.

In contrast, random workplace drug screening brings on-site drug testing a stage further, whereby a predetermined proportion of the employees is chosen at random to provide a sample of urine and/or breath. This may sound a little heavy-handed, though it is quite commonplace for only 5% of the staff to be screened up to once in every year. this is equivalent to just one in 20 staff being screened, in other words, as a member of staff, your odds of being actually screened would probably be just a single time in every 20 years. Incredibly, this style of infrequent testing has actually been demonstrated to reduce rates of positivity from as much as forty six percent down to as low as just 2% inside of just a handful of months. This just shows that the run of the mill substance abuser found in the average business is not addicted, but is just making lifestyle decisions that may be changed towards a better outcome.

Substance Misuse Awareness For Employers. Might this be regarded as an infringement of human rights?

Whilst a number of employees can be hesitant at first regarding the possibility of testing, the majority of them get the idea that this is being performed to improve the safety of everybody throughout the workplace. As long as the extent of on-site drug screening is in proportion to the threats throughout the work environment and does not specifically impact upon personnel leisure activities, it does not represent a threat to staff human rights. Around the United States of America, over ninety eight percent of the largest 1000 businesses drug and alcohol test their members of staff without any difficulty.

Who says there is any harm while experimenting with narcotics outside of work?

Lots of drugs have recently created a less dangerous image through their continued exposure within countrywide newspapers and television. Sure enough, terminologies such as “recreational cocaine use” can cause a significant deal of harm in downplaying the risks to individuals. For a large amount of young people, powdered cocaine is more habit-forming than heroin and, for this reason can’t be used on a recreational basis without having major threat of addiction. Dependency aside, the purity of cocaine has decreased from an average of forty five percent cocaine content in 2004 to as low as roughly 25 percent purity in 2010 (with cocaine purity as low as 9% reported). Even more worryingly, the added cutting agents that dealers use to bulk out the powdered cocaine can range from local anaesthetics, carcinogenic pharmaceuticals, animal worming powders, all the way through to to dangerous insecticides. The underlying message is you should never ever rely upon a drug dealer.

Indeed, substances usually deemed to be soft drugs can still carry risks. Presently in England and Wales, a frightening 92% of everyday people taken in for therapy for mental illness are heavy users of cannabis. With this in mind, workplace drug testing in reality possesses the realistic ability to attack wider antisocial and mental health concerns when it eventually becomes more widely accepted.

To discover more about drug screening in the workplace and home drug testing kits, check out www.drug-aware.com

Information on the author: Christopher Evans is the Technical Director of Drug-Aware Ltd, a provider of Substance Misuse Awareness For Employers, drugs and alcohol testing equipment, laboratory services and also alcohol and drugs awareness training courses. He has instructed literally thousands of delegates from hundreds of businesses, Her Majesty’s Prison Service, the British police and hospitals throughout the country.

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