Handling addiction in the workplace what you need to know industrial electricity prices by state

Problems with alcohol and substance abuse are on the rise in the UK and subsequently encroaching on the ability of workers to perform at maximum levels. For many who have to consistently maintain high standards or meet targets on a regular basis, alcohol is seen as the only way to de-stress at the end of the workday. However, alcohol and other addictive substances remain in your bloodstream when you drive to work the next day and you’ll likely struggle to stay awake or complete work-assigned tasks.

Unfortunately, this is a common scenario in the UK, where one in twelve British adults took an addictive substance in 2017. Workplace accidents and absenteeism are two major concerns according to the Health and Safety Executive. The problem has costs the UK economy £1.8 billion annually, with over 16 million working days lost to alcohol abuse.

According to Harvard Health Blog, over 70% of workers maintain their employment status and substance use disorder concurrently. Functioning employees are costing businesses over $81 billion in profits. This stems from high turnover rates, loss of productivity, theft in the workplace, absenteeism and poor performance.

Addicts in the workplace risk their lives and those of their colleagues. Consequently, this is a concern for individuals working in sectors like road haulage, construction, security, manufacturing and transportation. Notably, the media oftenreport cases of road accidents caused by alcohol abuse.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, it is illegal for anyone to use controlled substances in the workplace, except if prescribed by a doctor for aparticular medical condition. Education is the first step in creating a healthy, working environment. Addiction usually stems from an underlying problem that has not been addressed. For many people in the workplace, this could be the overwhelming pressure to meet targets, an upcoming work review, supervisors who make the workplace uncomfortable or hostile colleagues.

Some organisations have an Employee Assistance Programme to provide support for employees who are dealing with addiction. It includes resources, confidential assessment, addiction treatment and counselling. However, this is usually only available to large corporations that can afford to run the programme, with smaller companies struggling to sustain an EAP.

Employers have adopted drug screening as part of their policy to stop substance abuse in the workplace. The number of UK workplaces conducting drug tests has increased from 40% to over 470% in the last four years. When incorporating such a policy, it is vital for employers to have a guideline forwhat they want to achieve and how the information derived from drug screening tests will be used.

Over 50% of employers require drug screening tests during the employment process, especially in high-risk industries like mining, public safety and construction. According to an addiction expert, it’s essential that organisations combine screening efforts with programmes that help employees recover from addiction.This includes helping them enrol for addiction treatment at a rehab facility.

Employers should adopt a ‘zero-drug’ policy in the workplace and offer regular substance abuse education for employees to fully comprehend the dangers of addiction. There are many benefits when employers help employees seek addiction treatment. For instance, it reduces addiction in the workplace, lowers fatality rates and addresses addiction on a communal and societal level.Managers should be trained to recognise warning symptoms of substance use disorder and take action when an employee is suspected of abusing addictive substances.

UK employers should ensure they implement substance abuse policies and guidelines for taking action when employees abuse drugs and alcohol in the workplace, as substance abuse can greatly impact careers. Educate supervisors and employees to ensure they’re aware of the consequences of addiction and provide resources for those who are addicted. Treatment for addiction is successful, either when facilitated within or outside of the workplace. It improves the mental functioning of employees and reduces conflict, productivity issues and absenteeism.