Alcohol Addiction in the Workplace can be so very dangerous. A drug-free workplace is not truly “drug-free” unless it is free from the adverse effects of alcohol abuse, too.
One of the major problems with Alcohol in the Workplace is Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system, slowing the body’s vital functions. That will start you thinking.
Some of the other effects of alcohol include:
● Decreased physical coordination
● Slurred speech
● Impaired reaction time
● Lowered inhibitions
● Distorted judgment
With alcohol overdose, its depressant effects can escalate and cause:
● Inability to feel pain
● Lack of consciousness
● Coma or death
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in the United States, 15.1 million adults ages 18 and older had an alcohol use disorder.
Also, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), says some of the common issues caused by alcohol and drug dependence in the workplace include:
● Accidents and injuries
● Absenteeism and excessive sick leave
● Higher turnover rate
● Reduced productivity
● Showing up late to work
● Falling asleep on the job
● Poor decision making
● Decreased morale among co-workers
● Interpersonal conflicts with supervisors and peers
Not only do workers who abuse alcohol often have diminished job performance, but also family members living with someone who abuses alcohol can suffer problems at work.
Because of the stress and distraction of dealing with an alcohol abuser, they may be less efficient, focused, and reliable at their jobs.
NCADD’s website shares some sobering facts about alcohol in the workplace.
● Workers with alcohol problems are 2.7 times more likely to be absent due to an injury.
● According to a hospital emergency department study, 35 percent of patients with work-related injuries were at-risk drinkers.
● Sixteen percent of emergency room patients hurt at work tested positive for alcohol use.
● An estimated 11 percent of victims of workplace fatalities had been drinking alcohol.
● Surveys show that 24 percent of workers report drinking during the workday at least once in the past year.
One way to discourage the use of alcohol and drugs is to implement a wellness program that encourages healthy habits.
Another is to establish an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), that can offer troubled employees assistance in the way of counseling and referrals to psychological and medical professionals who can help them overcome their challenges.
Also, written drug-free workplace and substance abuse policies that include alcohol testing can help employers steer clear of hiring candidates who have alcohol abuse problems and identify when existing employees are putting themselves and others at risk at work.
As reported by a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) article, “…alcohol testing is important in the workplace because drinking is distinctively linked to performance impairment, particularly when compared with other drugs.”
Especially in the case of work-related accidents that result in injuries, alcohol testing is critical in establishing the cause of the incident.
While some employers are required by federal law to test their employees, other businesses that are not mandated to do drug and alcohol testing could benefit from implementing policies for testing job candidates and employees.
Testing is most effective when based on a clear policy that all employees will understand.
Recognize that drug and alcohol testing policies are not just for large businesses; small businesses need them, too. In fact, alcohol testing may even be more critical for smaller companies.
People with drug and alcohol problems may be more likely to look for employment at small businesses because they know those companies often don’t have written workplace policies and testing programs in place.
In creating a policy, employers must be careful to understand and adhere to Department of Labor (DOL) rules, state laws and local jurisdiction regulations, and any collective bargaining agreements that may limit what they can do and when they can do it.
For accuracy and reliability, drug testing that follows SAMHSA guidelines is the golden standard. At uVera Diagnostics, we have a variety of drug and alcohol testing kits—all of them are set to SAMHSA cut-off levels.
They are 99 percent accurate and capable of testing up to 14 substances including:
Employers use uVera Diagnostics alcohol and drug test kits in all types of testing:
● Reasonable suspicion
Businesses worldwide in all industries—from the court system to healthcare to staffing to construction and many others—have put their trust in our reliable and convenient drug testing products.
Ready to make an alcohol and drug-free workplace a reality for your company?
Browse our selection of drug test kits and place your order online today! If you have questions about any of our products, contact us, and we’ll be happy to share more information. Call 1-866-242-5930 and one of our friendly staff members will be happy to help you.ot
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