Addiction information for employers

Substance misuse occurs in the workplace more often than we may think; it is fair to say that in general it is believed that this may only occur in large organisations, this is not the case. The size of the business is irrelevant as this illness relates to an individual.

Key facts

  • Alcohol-related sickness costs businesses over £2billion per year.
  • A recent survey showed that 22% of London businesses reported absenteeism due to drug misuse.
  • 45% of young adults have experimented with drugs.
  • 25% of people seeking help for their drug and alcohol problems are working professionals.
  • The majority of people with drink problems are in employment.

Why should an organisation have a substance misuse policy

Although the number of individuals who develop a drug/alcohol problem is statistically small, the impact is felt by those around such as employers, work colleagues and working relationships.

Consider this. What is the overall impact this could have on your organisation as a whole? If employees’ are intoxicated there is always a reason why and ECR will assist in getting your employee back to work by providing the tools for them to understand why they have turned to addiction.

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Culture vs Factors in the workplace

The accessibility of alcohol and work-based cultures such as attitude, behaviour and managing expectation can influence an employee to drink before, during and post work. This has a direct effect on alcohol-related harm, on the health and safety of others and productivity. There are many work-based factors that can increase the risk of alcoholism, this could be anything from going to the pub at lunchtime to raising a glass for somebody’s birthday during working hours. You might say that it endorses drinking habits and crosses professional boundaries.

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Groups most affected by alcohol abuse

It is assumed that alcohol abuse in the workplace varies dependent on industry; some have reported higher proportions of drinking patterns than others. This could be influenced by employees and peer pressure, the nature of the sector, environment and culture. Population groups most likely to be affected are:

  • Male workers
  • Men/Women aged 14-59
  • People employed in high pressured sectors such as hospitality, retail, agriculture, manufacturing, financial services, aviation and mining
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