In modern-day America drug
abuse is more widespread, and reaches into more sections of society than ever before.
It is now possible
for almost any type of illegal drug to be purchased on the black market , and the manner in which these drugs manifest differs
from person to person.
In short, it is not always possible to tell who is a drug user and who isn't.
It's a common misconception to assume that all drug users are unemployed vagrants involved in petty
crime, with a tendency to hang around with undesirables of a similar nature.
In reality many drug users
are in well paid jobs, go home to families who enjoy annual vacations, and appear as normal as the next person.
It's because of this reality that many companies have introduced drug policies designed to tackle the problem of drug abuse.
It's not a combative measure in an aggressive sense, but rather an appreciation of the fact that drug abuse is an area of
health and social concern, and should an employee develop a problem with drugs, the ultimate effect will be a negative one
on the company as a whole, and not just the individual.
Take a look around your workplace
and consider the possibility that one, or several of your colleagues, may have a drug problem, yet be entirely unaware of
Drug policies normally cover the abuse of cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, amphetamines, heroin,
prescribed drugs, over the counter medication, alcohol, and everyday items like glue, lighter fluid, and solvents.
Drug policies usually become active in one of three ways:
An employee is unfit
for work because he/she is under the influence of drugs.
An employee has admitted a dependency on drugs, and
is seeking help.
The company has evidence of the sale, supply or use of drugs at work.
A good drug policy will help the individual deal with the problem through referral to a rehabilitation
program, designed to support the person while undergoing treatment.
This may be an external organization,
but could be internal and is dependent upon the persons cooperation.
If, because of drug abuse, a person is
unable to continue in his current role, a good drugs policy will also help that person find another role within the company
to allow them to continue safe employment while treatment is ongoing.
Drug abuse in
most cases will, however, be regarded as a disciplinary matter, such as where the employee:
a significant risk to the business, him/herself, other staff members.
Is involved in supplying or selling
drugs within the work environment .
Operates machinery or drives a company vehicle on company business.
Has consumed drugs in the workplace.
Refuses to accept their is a problem of dependency.
or fails to respond to support or rehabilitation.
Has not responded to previous treatment for dependency.
Has previously been involved in disciplinary matters stemming from drug abuse.
Has allowed drug abuse to
lower their behavior to an unacceptable level.
Persistently uses or sells drugs in the workplace.
Or where he/she is deemed unfit to work because of his/her addiction.
by acknowledging drug problems and implementing prevention policies, can we began to minimize drugs in the office environment.