What Should I Know?
Alcohol and drugs may be used as a perceived antidote to the pressures of modern life or as a way to socialise and network with clients and colleagues. However, it is generally accepted that over-indulgence or misuse can affect an employee’s attendance, concentration, productivity and ability to do the do safely.
Alcohol problems cost the Scottish economy approximately £3.6 billion and drug problems cost £2.6 billion each year. These figures include costs to workplaces but also wider costs to society such as healthcare, policing and criminal justice.
Alcohol and drug problems cover a range of circumstances from periodic misuse or binge drinking through to dependent alcohol or drug use. Workplaces should have appropriate policies to manage these situations.
What should I do?
Workplaces can help to break down the ‘myths’ associated with addiction issues by carrying out staff awareness campaigns, e.g. PlaySafe, Alcohol Awareness Week
Interactive events can be used to promote more responsible attitudes re alcohol and drugs. Examples include Playsafe workshops, ‘mocktail’ bars or using ‘beer goggles’ (glasses that simulate the effects of alcohol).
Many workplaces already have policies in place that can support staff, e.g. Brief Alcohol Interventions, employee counselling service, flexible working arrangements etc. Review existing practices and implement a policy combining all the aspects of this section.
Line managers and their approaches are very important in dealing with addictions in your workplace. Provide them with training to ensure that they know how to address addiction issues and the policies and procedures they should follow.
- Signpost staff to support agencies
A significant proportion of staff will experience addiction problems each year. Identify local support agencies and signpost staff to them, e.g. Glasgow Council on Alcohol, RCA Trust, and Alcoholics Anonymous
Where can I get help?
New Resource Feb 2011 - Drink Smarter - http://www.drinksmarter.org/toolkit
Play Safe - http://css.dev2.999design.com/playsafe/whats_new.html