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For employers - the impact of alcohol and drug use on the workplace

alcohol and drugs

If it becomes apparent (through behaviour, poor performance, patterns of sickness absence or other indicators) that a member of staff might be experiencing difficulty with drinking or drug use, employers have a responsibility to address this.

For a number of reasons, raising this subject can feel uncomfortable or challenging. Ignoring the situation can lead to problems which have an impact on the individual, their colleagues and the workplace. However, the most effective approach is to make an early intervention and provide specialist support.

The effect of someone's drinking or drug use on the workplace is a complex area which can have many implications, particularly if there are safety issues involved. Derek has extensive experience of working within the alcohol and drug field, ranging from individual counselling work in an inner city substance misuse team to working with major organisations to help them develop and implement effective workplace alcohol and drug policies.

Time-limited counselling can often help address the situation and also begin to address the issues that underlie the drinking or drug use. Specialist help might be appropriate and advice can be given regarding this.

(It should be noted that if a person is physically dependent on a substance it can be dangerous to suddenly cease use. For instance, if physically dependent on alcohol it is possible that abruptly stopping drinking can cause a withdrawal fit. If in doubt, the person should not be advised to do this. A full assessment should be made determine an appropriate intervention. In an emergency, an individual should seek medical attention.)

Please contact for further information about support for alcohol and drug issues.

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