The principles of the workplace intervention are in many ways no different to one performed within the family environment. Colleagues are often the first to become aware that an individual’s drug or alcohol usage is having an unacceptable impact. When the workplace becomes affected then often normal company systems will move towards a disciplinary outcome.
When they workplace is proactive in putting together a form of intervention with a skilled interventionist facilitating the process, a very different outcome can be expected. An employee who responds to workplace intervention and engages with the appropriate care plan, the process of counselling and abstinence-based support for in some cases for residential, then you can expect the person to return to work as a fully functioning college.
If the person chooses their relationship with drink or drugs over the workplace and the opportunities available, then of course the workplace would have to hold the boundaries that are in place and documented within the company drug and alcohol policy.When the workplace is able to offer colleagues solid boundaries and genuine support where illness like addiction is evident then it is likely the person will engage in the treatment process sooner as opposed to later and with a better outcome expectation.
Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy
A workplace drug and alcohol policy is most definitely based around the “seatbelt” philosophy of business. An effective policy will never solve or reduce the percentage of addiction problems affecting your workplace, but it will allow you to save time and money with early workplace intervention that will prevent it progressing further.
The common tenet of addiction, be it alcoholism, legal or illegal drug abuse, gambling or codependency, is denial. From the top to the bottom of society we naturally create a mask of denial around any form of addiction (please see the information on denial).
Addiction is a condition that will progress and therefore consequences continue to have a greater effect on your workplace. The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) state that the cost to local industries is in excess of £800 million per year, threatening the welfare of employees, and of course the financial stability of a company. The CMI also show that 85% of the population are directly or indirectly affected by the drug and alcohol misuse of another person. 46% of the workplace were not confident that they would recognise the signs of misuse.
Effective workplace drug and alcohol policies removes the denial that is endemic in our society – it provides a tool to help everyone involved earlier as opposed to later. Such a policy will also provide a clear set of standards to staff which will give leverage should a problem arise.
A drug and alcohol policy provides the perfect intervention tool – it allows you to approach a person with a compassionate but assertive option
“we would like to offer you the opportunity to address your issues with drugs or alcohol by way of an appointment with a qualified therapist. You are currently in breach of the company drug and alcohol policy and failure to actively seek the support offered will mean you are accountable to the drug and alcohol policy.”
At RedChair we believe the most beneficial approach to drug and alcohol issues is to treat it as an illness, that can be cured with the correct care. This is a winning approach in so much that the individual will have to make efforts to address the nature of their substance usage and the impact it is having upon their work and lives.
This approach also works through management and human resources – it provides a caring but effective means for early intervention with a drug or alcohol problem. This technique also allows for disciplinary measures where the individual is choosing to maintain use of alcohol and drugs in a detrimental way and can no longer be afforded the security and safety of the workplace.