Drug and alcohol misuse at work on the rise

Half
of all UK organisations have no policy on drugs, alcohol and substance misuse
although use has increased in one in five workplaces, research reveals.

New
research from the Chartered Management Institute and Priory Group shows that
only around half of organisations have put in place – or are developing – a
policy on drugs and alcohol. 

Up
to 14 million working days are lost each year to alcohol-related problems and
27 per cent of organisations report issues due to employees’ misuse of drugs.

One
in five managers claim alcohol misuse in their organisation has risen over the
past few years and around one in six managers claim drugs misuse has also
increased. 

While
85 per cent of managers are confident that they would be able to recognise
signs of alcohol misuse, only 54 per cent claim to have the same ability to
spot misuse when it comes to drugs.

More
than six in 10 managers feel it is the employer’s responsibility to provide
education on the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse, but only 19 per cent say their
organisation addresses the issue proactively.

“The
results of this survey show that drugs and alcohol are becoming increasingly
recognised as a major concern in the workplace,” comments Dr Chai Patel, chief
executive of the Priory Group.

“But
it is very evident that a significant proportion of organisations have not yet
put the resources or support in place to reduce the potential problems that
misuse of these substances can cause.”

To
combat the problem, 55 per cent of managers support random drugs and alcohol
testing in the workplace. 
Interestingly, this policy is more popular with managers under 35.
However, one in three managers feel that random testing would be an invasion of
privacy yet over a quarter (26 per cent) want to see those tested positively
for drugs dismissed instantly.

By Quentin Reade

www.managers.org.uk

Comments are closed.