Aug 29

Substance Misuse Information For Employers


Pressed by a requirement to assure health, safety and well-being of members of staff, company substance misuse policies have eventually become increasingly popular within the United Kingdom. Having said that, there still persist several myths surrounding the strategy, that can most likely give rise to concern among the workers involved in testing.

Substance Misuse Information For Employers – Just where are the dangers?

Lots of people presume that the effect of alcohol and drugs throughout the working environment is a trivial matter. Everybody has been exposed to Christmas drink-driving television campaigns and as a consequence, know that drink-driving and drug-driving is risky, so shouldn’t we be able to depend on most people’s common sense? Sorry to say, around fifty percent of all industrial and road fatalities across Great Britain are connected with alcohol, illicit drugs, or a combination of both. Up to date reports demonstrate that about 70 % of drug misusers are in full-time work, meaning that the average substance misuser is, essentially, the typical employee. More recent Home Office reports estimate the volume of 16 to 29-year-olds that have engaged in drugs throughout the last 12 months at approximately fifty percent. So, this shouldn’t be viewed as somebody else’s issue, because it has an impact upon every single business. While the recreational use of illicit substances may not necessarily mean a tendency to ignore risks within the working environment, this does greatly broaden the possibility of accidents, attendance issues and absenteeism, a marked reduction in productivity, damages to machinery and wasted materials, compensation claims and a raised turnover of employees.

Substance Misuse Information For Employers – What do you suggest? Isn’t employee drug testing operationally disruptive?

Plenty of businesses only administer workplace drug screening after an industrial accident, an incident, or in the event that they have reasonable grounds for concern or suspicion that a colleague might be unsafe to be on active duty. Due to the vast cross section of possible threats found at industrial company premises, numerous businesses believe it to be wholly proper to perform workplace testing on such occasions, as a measure to avoid them from occurring ever again.

On the other hand, random drug and alcohol testing brings testing the workplace to the next level, whereby a certain proportion of the employees is chosen at random to provide a sample. You may see this as a little invasive, but it is very customary for just five percent of the personnel to be drug tested up to once per 12 month period. This is the same as just one in 20 staff being drug and alcohol screened, or perhaps, as a member of staff, your likelihood of being tested could be just once every 20 years. As incredible as it sounds, this form of minimalistic screening has indeed been confirmed to decrease failure rates from a high of 46% down to as little as two percent inside of just a handful of months. This highlights that the typical drug misuser found within the working environment is not hopelessly addicted and unable to change, but is purely making lifestyle choices which can possibly be changed towards a more positive conclusion.

Substance Misuse Information For Employers. Will this be deemed an invasion of an individuals’ freedoms?

Whilst certain staff members might be hesitant at first regarding the prospect of on-site drug screening, many understand that this will be performed to improve upon the safety and security of everyone in the company. As long as the amount of testing is comparable to the dangers within the company and does not intentionally impact upon personnel life outside of work, it should not represent a danger to staff human rights. Within the USA, over 98% of the leading 1000 organisations drug screen their members of staff without any controversy.

Is there any danger while misusing drugs away from work?

Lots of street drugs have formed a less dangerous image due to their continual exposure in countrywide television, radio and newspapers. In reality, expressions including “recreational cocaine use” have been shown to cause a great deal of harm in glossing over the dangers to people. For numerous young people, snorting cocaine is unexpectedly more habit forming than heroin and, for this reason can not be used recreationally without having considerable threat of becoming addicted. Dependency aside, the level of cocaine purity has fallen from an average of 45 percent cocaine concentration in 2004 to as low as roughly twenty five percent purity as of 2010 (with purity at an all-time low of 9 percent currently being reported). Even more shockingly, the bulking agents used to add weight to the cocaine powder have been known to range from dangerous anaesthetics, carcinogenic pharmaceuticals, dog worming agents, all the way through to to insecticides. The underlying truth is that you should certainly never rely upon a drug dealer.

In fact, substances typically regarded as soft drugs often still carry risks. At this time in United Kingdom, a shocking 92% of individuals admitted for treatment for mental health issues are heavy cannabis users. bearing this in mind, workplace alcohol and drug screening really possesses the potential to tackle wider social and health problems as it eventually is more widely accepted.

Read more about workplace drug and alcohol policies and also home drug testing kits, pay a visit to

Information about the author: Christopher Evans is the Technical Director of Drug-Aware Ltd, a supplier of Substance Misuse Information For Employers, alcohol and drugs screening devices, laboratory services and also drugs awareness education. He has instructed literally thousands of delegates from hundreds of companies, the HM Prison Service, the British police and hospitals and drug treatment centres across the country.


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