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Substance Misuse Policy


This is a guideline for all staff in a company to refer to in relation to dealing with drug or alcohol-related problem. 

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Document Description

The Substance Misuse Policy is a document that outlines the importance of maintaining a safe and healthy work environment free from substance misuse, particularly alcohol and drugs. The policy aims to inform and educate all staff about their responsibilities regarding substance misuse and encourages those experiencing alcohol or drug-related problems to seek help. It emphasizes fair and consistent treatment for individuals with substance misuse issues and provides guidelines for identifying and addressing such problems.


The policy begins with a summary that highlights the commitment to providing a safe work environment and the purpose of the policy. It clarifies that the policy does not apply to one-off incidents or offenses unrelated to work. The policy applies to all employees, including contractors, agency workers, and volunteers.


The document identifies the personnel responsible for implementing and enforcing the policy, emphasizing the role of managers in ensuring staff compliance. It provides guidance on identifying substance misuse problems in colleagues and encourages seeking assistance through line managers or health specialists.


The policy addresses the impact of alcohol and drugs on work performance, emphasizing the importance of arriving fit for duty and complying with statutory regulations. It highlights the potential consequences of alcohol or drug-related offenses, including disciplinary action and possible dismissal. The policy also addresses the use of prescribed or over-the-counter medication and the need to inform supervisors if it may affect job performance.


The document outlines the company's right to conduct routine searches for alcohol or drugs on its premises and the potential disciplinary actions for possession. It also mentions the use of third-party drug screening to ensure fairness and confidentiality.


The policy provides guidance for managers who suspect substance misuse in an employee, including conducting investigatory interviews and offering referrals to the occupational health department for medical advice. It emphasizes the company's commitment to providing support, including appropriate referrals, adjustments to duties, and time off for treatment.


Confidentiality is addressed, with an emphasis on respecting privacy while balancing the need for information sharing to conduct proper investigations. The policy provides guidance on seeking help confidentially and the circumstances under which disclosure may be necessary.


Finally, the document addresses the impact of substance misuse on performance and disciplinary issues. It states that ongoing disciplinary actions may be suspended or postponed if an employee agrees to undergo treatment or rehabilitation for acknowledged substance misuse problems.


Overall, the Substance Misuse Policy is a comprehensive document that prioritizes the health and well-being of staff while providing clear guidelines for addressing substance misuse issues in the workplace.

How to use this document?

1. Identify a problem: If you notice unusual changes in a colleague's behavior that may indicate substance misuse, encourage them to seek assistance through their line manager. If they do not seek help, report the matter to your supervisor.

2. Alcohol and drugs at work: Arrive promptly and fit for duty, without any impairment from alcohol or drugs. Comply with all statutory regulations, including drink-driving and drug-driving laws. Consult your GP or pharmacist if prescribed medication may affect your ability to work.

3. Searches: Be aware that routine searches for alcohol or drugs may be conducted on company premises. Possession of alcohol or drugs may result in disciplinary action.

4. Drug screening: Understand that a third-party provider may conduct routine drug screening. You will be informed of the arrangements.

5. Managing suspected substance misuse: If you suspect an employee is experiencing substance misuse issues, seek advice from the human resources department. If necessary, conduct an investigatory interview and offer referral to the occupational health department for medical advice.

6. Providing support: The company is committed to providing support for employees with substance misuse problems. This may include referrals to treatment providers, adjustments to duties, and time off for treatment. Discuss with your line manager the appropriate steps if treatment is not successful.

7. Confidentiality: Confidentiality will be respected, but anonymous disclosures are discouraged. Seek advice from the occupational health department on how to seek help confidentially. Disclosure may be necessary if there is a risk to yourself or colleagues.

8. Performance and disciplinary issues: If you agree to undergo treatment for acknowledged substance misuse problems, ongoing disciplinary actions may be suspended or postponed. The outcome of treatment will be considered in performance evaluations.

9. Key contacts: The human resources department can be reached at [phone number] or [email].

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