A workplace that experiences substance use problems is usually an unsafe environment. The space can also be inefficient and unhealthy. Drug or alcohol use in workplaces costs most companies billions of dollars each year, usually in the form of accidents. You should note that an employee who uses alcohol or drugs can switch jobs regularly, be less productive, miss work, and get into accidents. Unfortunately, many workplaces experience substance use by their employees. Some studies indicate that three-fourths of people with drug or alcohol use disorder tend to be employed. Therefore, there is a chance that an employee is struggling with addiction at your work. 

The same studies indicate that small companies that have less than 25 workers have higher chances of having a person who uses illegal drugs. This is the reason why you need to have a drug-free workplace policy. But before you implement a drug-free workplace policy, it makes sense to offer work training for your employees so that they can understand the consequences of using drugs or alcohol. This page discusses the proven steps to help you to have a drug-free workplace.

A drug-free workplace

If you are unsure how you can detect alcohol or drug use in your workplace, there are some signs you can look out for. This includes fatigue, paranoia, aggressive behavior, smelling like marijuana or alcohol, slow or slurred speech, unexpected bursts of energy, and many more. 

Employers usually have the most power to change some things in the workplace. If you are a supervisor or employer and desire to have a drug-free environment, there are a couple of things you should always try to figure out. You need to know the regulations or laws an employee is violating when they use alcohol or drugs in the workplace.

Besides this, you know whether or not you can spot current problems in your workplace that may be related to substance use like absences, accidents, and poor productivity. It’s also crucial to support healthy lifestyle choices among your workers who may not be abusing alcohol or drugs.

It’s worth mentioning that drug-free workplace programs can increase the overall safety of your workers. This is the reason why most employees usually support the implementation of such programs. Further, creating a drug-free workplace program can help lower the safety risks as well as a potential increase in costs to employers by determining how the activities of employees affect their work performance. A business may qualify as a drug-free workplace once it implements a drug-free policy, supervisor training, employee education, drug testing, and employee assistance programs.

A drug-free workplace program can be a valuable asset because it assists to improve employee productivity. Some studies indicate that workers who have substance abuse problems tend to be less productive than those with no issues. In most cases, they are often sluggish mentally and physically. Also, workers with substance abuse issues need more sick days, breaks, and tend to be late for work. 

An employee with substance abuse problems is usually less stable than other workers, so they are less likely to retain their jobs with your company for a long period. This can cost your business because you need to hire and train new employees while experiencing reduced productivity during the training period.

A worker with substance abuse problems also risks suffering on-the-job injuries. This can increase your company’s health insurance rates as well as workers’ compensation rates. On the other hand, companies that have fewer on-the-job injuries can have decreased health insurance expenses and rates.

Steps you need to take to have a drug-free workplace

When you complete an evaluation of risks and areas you need to grow the company, you should create a specific plan to help you to reduce the risks of alcohol and drugs in the workplace. First of all, you need to create a written drug-free workplace policy. Remember that these workplace guidelines must outline regulations and laws about alcohol or drug use. 

You should also include the consequences an employee can face for violating these regulations and laws as well as other workplace policies associated with drug and alcohol use. You should also consider including information about community resources that are available for substance abuse in the employee handbook. 

It’s also important to provide regular pieces of training to your employees. These training courses should warn employees about the dangers of using alcohol or drugs in the workplace. Also, they need to encourage healthy lifestyles and ways they can cope without using alcohol or drugs. For example, a wellness program can benefit drugs and connect them to community and workplace resources. 

You should also consider drug testing. You should note that drug testing can usually prevent workers from taking some risks and assist in identifying workers who need to be tested. Before you decide to implement drug testing, you have to figure out the employees who should be tested, the drugs to be tested for, and the way the tests will be conducted. It’s a good idea to inform your workers about this policy and make sure that you treat each one equally and fairly during the drug testing process. 

Lastly, you have to use an employee assistance program that offers counseling, psycho-education, and many more to employees. Employees need to enroll in this program so that they can have the chance of preventing and addressing their substance abuse problems.

Some studies indicate that preventing substance abuse in the workplace tends to be cost-effective. Therefore, by demonstrating to your employees that your company prioritizes their mental and physical health, you can enhance the level of wellness at your workplace. 

If you are unsure how to start your drug-free workplace program, you should check how your supervisors currently handle substance abuse issues. You can also talk to the management of other companies about how they deal with this problem. Therefore, you need to ask them about the availability of local resources they can recommend for addressing drug or alcohol abuse. You should not be afraid to solicit feedback from your workers. Consider having a meeting or even taking anonymous feedback associated with the culture of your company.