An organization’s employees are their most valuable resources and they deserve to be protected. The best way to achieve this goal is to establish a zero-tolerance policy for destructive or dangerous behavior in the workplace. Drug use is the number one behavior that fits both categories.

Drug use in the workplace affects every aspect of a business or organization. Studies show that around 9.4 million employed Americans are currently participating in illicit drug use. With these numbers rising organizations need to take action by offering training on substance abuse and its impact in the workforce.

Exactly What is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is the illegal participation in compulsive drug use to attain a high or feel euphoric. Substance use eventually becomes abuse when a person no longer has control over their daily actions. It can affect several aspects of a person’s life including:

  • Relationships
  • Family
  • Health
  • Money
  • Employment

Some drugs are stronger than others and have different effects. Although these drugs are not as dangerous, they can still present problems for the user.

How Does Substance Abuse Affect the Workplace?

If an employee arrives to work under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol, they can present a host of problems for the company. A person that uses drugs compulsively tends to avodi or neglect certain aspects such as sleep and nutrition. This can lead to:

  • Absences
  • Tardiness
  • Decrease in job performance
  • Increased mistakes
  • Accidents

These employees often have money issues from their drug use which could lead to possible theft of company problems. This could also lead to violent behavior if a person is confronted for their actions. 

The main consequence most companies face from employers abusing drugs is job performance. Excessive tardies and absences will reduce company production and cause the most damage to daily operations.

How Will Training Help Improve Your Business?

Awareness of substance abuse is important to keep a business steady and productive. It will improve all aspects of the work environment. Substance abuse training will help improve:

  • Behavior
  • Safety
  • Performance
  • Attitude
  • Knowledge
  • Production

These training programs can also address other principles including:

  • Risk factors
  • All forms of substance abuse
  • Abuse characteristics
  • Intervention
  • Communication
  • Cost effectiveness

It will still be hard to diagnose or recognize a potential drug problem but with a proper substance abuse training program will make it easier. Preventative measures like pre-employment drug screening and criminal background checks should also be incorporated as a part of the screening and training process.

Legal Processes

If an employer avoids taking the appropriate legal action in cases of substance abuse they could face severe legal consequences. Neglection retention lawsuits are a very serious matter and companies all over the country are getting sued for the refusal to deal with substance abuse issues.

As an employer, there is always concern for an incorrect suspicion or accusation. Even though these concerns are valid and could lead to possible legal issues, they are important. If an employer is wrong about an assumption of drug abuse it is still a good thing. Your goal as an employer is to weed out the people that are abusing drugs, even a false accusation is helping you achieve this goal.

There are no requirements or protocols for private employers to conduct and maintain a drug-free environment. However, there are certain requirements that all companies must maintain. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 gives legal protection to certain classes of employment. These statutes contain limits on the consequences an employer can enact for drug abuse in the workplace. For more information contact Soteria today. 

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