Courses for Businesses - Drug Sense UK

Do you have a responsibility to tackle Drug Abuse within your workplace and raise Awareness - the answer is 'YES'

Employers should be aware that drug use is an issue for the whole workforce and is not more or less prevalent among employees of a certain grade, status or job type. No employer is immune to the problem. The majority of individuals who use illicit drugs are in employment and, particularly in the early stages, the issue may go unnoticed by colleagues. Your business could be suffering because of it (ie absenteeism, dishonesty, impaired productivity, risk of serious injury etc) as well as exposing not only the user to 'Criminal charges' but yourself as an 'employer'. Many organisations are now looking to address the impact drugs misuse is having and putting in place practical measures to identify and resolve it.

Key facts in relation to Drugs Misuse in the work place:
  • Employers conducting random drug tests found a 34 % increase in positive tests for Cocaine in 2007 (1)
  • Last year one in 145 employees tested positive for Cocaine, compared to 1 in 1,000 in 1997 (1)
  • 1 in 4 workers under 30 admits to having used drugs in the last year (2)
  • Employees who regularly use Drugs have a 60% higher absenteeism compared to those that don’t (2)
  • More than 50 % of managers/supervisors are not confident of recognising Drugs Misuse signs and symptoms (3)
  • Illegal drug use in the UK is costing the taxpayer £16.4 million (4)
  • Theft by employee – the main reason employers commit this offence is to support their drugs habit (5)
  • An estimated 17 Million days a year are lost annually due to Alcohol Misuse (6)
  • Four out of 10 employers say that alcohol misuse is a significant cause of worker absenteeism, but few organisations have policies to deal with drink or drug problems, according to a report published today. In a survey of 500 organisations by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 40% of employers questioned said alcohol misuse was a "significant cause" of employee absence and lost productivity.
  • One third of the organisations reported that drug abuse had a similarly negative impact in the workplace.

(1)Cocanteno – UK’s largest drug and alcohol testing company
(2)The Scale and impact of illegal drug use by workers – Study conducted by Cardiff University and the Health & Safety Executive 2004.
(3)Managing the effects of drugs and alcohol in the workplace – The Chartered Management Institute 2003.
(4)Addaction- Chief Executive Deborah Cameron
(5)Home Office Crime Stats 2007/Drug Sense UK
(6)Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England – Prime Ministers strategy Unit 2004
(7)The Guardian – report by Martin Hodgson – 17th September 2007

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