It is important for every company to have an alcohol and drugs policy in place so that problems are dealt with efficiently, effectively and consistently. Also referred to as a ‘substance abuse policy’ it creates an environment that will encourage individuals to come forward, admit they have a problem and seek help.
This is already one step forward in the journey of treatment and recovery. If employees know there is a policy in place which will help them to move forward through treatment they will be more likely to seek help from managers, rather than ignore the problem and let it escalate for fear of a bad reaction from management. The earlier the problem is dealt with, the greater the chance of rehabilitation.
Training of managers and supervisors
Alcohol and drug policies are all too often written and then published on the intranet where they are ignored. It is important that managers and supervisors receive proper training on the alcohol and drug policy so that should the situation present itself, a manager will understand the situation and know what to do. A training programme may also persuade your management and staff that covering up for someone with a drugs problem is not in the individual’s best interests.
Developing an alcohol and drug policy
An alcohol or drug policy will contain the following sections:
- Policy statement, introduction and definitions
- Information on the health and safety hazards of alcohol and drugs in the workplace
- Obligations of the employee
- Information on rules, enforcement and application
- Information on drug screening procedures
- Support for employees with a problem:
- Treatment options
- Sick leave
- Returning to work
- What will happen if treatment is unsuccessful
- Information relating to job performance or misconduct and disciplinary action where alcohol and drugs are involved
- Responsibilities of the following outlined:
- Senior managers
- Line managers
- Company Doctors/ Occupational Health
- External contractors
- Links to further advice and help