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Alcohol & Drugs an Employers Guide Sally Thomas ïlife Health and Wellbeing On behalf of Welsh Centre for Action on Dependency & Addiction.

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Presentation on theme: "Alcohol & Drugs an Employers Guide Sally Thomas ïlife Health and Wellbeing On behalf of Welsh Centre for Action on Dependency & Addiction."— Presentation transcript:

1 Alcohol & Drugs an Employers Guide Sally Thomas ïlife Health and Wellbeing On behalf of Welsh Centre for Action on Dependency & Addiction

2 Statistics 140 million days lost to sickness absence every year (DWP 2011) –12.5% or 18 million working days are lost every year due to alcohol misuse –costing approx £1.5 billion every year (inst Alcohol Studies 2009) 43% increase in people testing negative from 2007 – 2011 Most prevalent drugs used by UK employees are alcohol, cannabis, opiates and cocaine 25 – 34 year olds most likely to test positive for Class A drugs (Concateno, 2012)

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4 ACTIVITY Mariah – machine operator Weekly Wednesday night out at the bingo with friends 6:00 pm getting ready – 2 standard glasses red wine Meet friends at 7:30pm – 2 pints Carling while waiting First half bingo – 1 pint Carling Break – double gin & tonic Second half bingo – 1 pint Carling 10:30pm Celebrate with one for the road – double brandy & coke 11:15pm – Home – not looking forward to the alarm going off at 7:00 for work at 8:00 

5 QUESTIONS How many units has Mariah consumed? How might this affect Mariahs health ? How many units will be in Mariah’s system when she starts work at 8am? How might this affect her performance at work? Under your policy would she be considered fit for duty? At what time will she be free of alcohol? 17.8 Units 1290 calories 8 + units 4:00pm

6 Is this a one off incident? Dealt with under the conduct and discipline procedures Is this part of a pattern, which you believe may be caused by a dependency problem? Discuss the matter informally with the staff member If they confirm that the problems are related to a dependency problem, then provide the staff member with the information about the support available. If the individual accepts assistance, then the disciplinary procedures can be put on hold If the individual does not accept the offer of assistance, or fails to complete the treatment and their performance / attendance deteriorates, then the normal disciplinary procedures should be followed Things To Consider

7 Self Assessment Are you? Lower Risk Increasing Risk Higher Risk Possible Dependent

8 DRUGS PRESCRIBED Codeine Anti depressants Sleeping tablets Methadone Amphetamines (Ritalin) Co-Codemal Morphine etc…… OVER COUNTER Cough & Cold remedies Antihistamines Paracetamol & other pain relief Diet aids ‘Legal Highs’ Caffeine pills and drinks continues ……..

9 The effects of alcohol Recommended daily intake: Women 2 – 3 units (175ml glass of wine) Men 3 – 4 units (one and a half pints of beer) One or two drinks – start to feel more sociable and relaxed Three or more – basic human functions, such as walking and talking become much harder Alcohol irritates the stomach, causing sickness and nausea Alcohol has a dehydrating effect

10 Illegal Drugs Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 – Categorises illicit drugs according to the level of damage/harm to an individual In certain circumstances charges may be brought against an employer as a result of an employee being under the influence of illegal drugs or in possession or supplying whilst on Company business or premises IT DOES HAPPEN!!!

11 Alcohol hours (the body dissipates alcohol at a rate of 1 unit per hour) Amphetamine days Cannabis 2 – 7 days – 1 month (for regular users) Cocaine 12 hours – 3 days Crystal Meth days Diazepam days Ecstasy days GHB up to 24 hours Heroin days Ketamine days LSD days Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin) up to 8 hours Methadone 2 days Steroids 14 days (oral) - 1 month (injected) Legal High – No info Substances in your system Substances and many of their side affects remain in the body for days, even weeks

12 Case for Drug & Alcohol Policy Level of risk in the working environment Health & Wellbeing of staff Assurance for Contracting Bodies Roles and Responsibilities clearly outlined Protection from potential harassment claims from dismissed employees Deterrent Testing needs to be covered if it takes place

13 TESTING 4 Methods Urine Blood Breathalyser Swabs – hair or saliva When to test? Pre-employment Random Post incident Follow up or post- treatment (return to work) Employee right to refuse, privacy and reasonable grounds for testing need careful consideration

14 FINDINGS from ESS project 2000 staff and managers of 34 Companies received training on Substance Misuse 55% stated they had a concern about a colleagues current substance misuse 1450 Managers 81% would not confidently recognise the signs and symptoms 47% admitted they would not address an issue or deal with a situation 3 Companies had a testing policy 102 employees received support – 22 said they were willing for their employer to be informed

15 One Last Thing Addiction is an illness.. Getting a person to admit their addiction is the first step to their recovery A supportive environment and workplace policy that is properly implemented will send out a clear message that whilst there is no place for substance misuse in the workplace there is support through the employer for people finding it hard to control their levels of use Support from Line Managers, Occupational Health, HR can and will make a huge difference to a person Support from external agencies such as Medical Centres and specialist agencies like WCADA is confidential

16 THANKYOU for Listening QUESTIONS Contact Details: Sally Thomas WCADA Cyfle I Dyfu


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