Alcohol and drug abuse are two of the biggest problems in the workplace. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug abuse and addiction costs American society more than $740 billion per year in lost workplace productivity. Alcohol and drug use are closely related. 74% of adults suffering from a substance abuse disorder also struggled with an alcohol use disorder. 

Because of this, many industries require a comprehensive drug policy for workplace to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone in the workplace. This will also prevent unnecessary injuries and companies can carry out proper health and safety practices in their respective industry.

There is no single formula for an alcohol and drug policy for every workplace. Each policy is unique to the individual requirements of the company. Nonetheless, it is important to highlight the essentials to make sure you have an effective and efficient alcohol and drug-free workplace.

State the purpose

The policy should state the aim or purpose for implementing the alcohol and drug-free workplace policy such as:

  • Prevent alcohol and drug-related accidents
  • Protect employee’s health and wellbeing
  • Create a drug-free and alcohol-free environment within the workplace

Define who is covered in the policy.

Ideally, you want the alcohol and drug policy to cover all the workers in your company. Nevertheless, before conducting corporate drug testing, you should clearly state who the policy applies to. List all the classifications of workers covered under the drug and alcohol policy. This may include:

  • full and part-time employees
  • interns
  • volunteers
  • contractors
  • temporary workers

Provide clear guidelines and a list of unacceptable behavior.

Effective alcohol and drug policy should have clear guidelines as to what constitutes unacceptable behavior. Make sure to include key definitions and terms in your policy. To be sure, explicitly state that there is no tolerance for alcohol consumption or drug-taking while working or during any work functions.

Indicate the implementation and consequences of non-compliance

Specify how you are going to implement the drug and alcohol policy as well as the consequences if the employees will not comply or tested positive after a corporate drug testing. It should indicate if there is a disciplinary action, suspension, termination of the contract, or possible rehabilitative programs.

Provide information about rehabilitative assistance

If rehabilitative assistance is provided, let your employees know what programs may be available for them. You need to state the rules and expectations should you provide them with possible resources for assistance.

Specify the testing procedures.

  • It is important to provide details about the testing procedures. It may include:
  • When and where alcohol and drug testing will occur?
  • How alcohol and drug testing will be done?
  • What drugs are being tested for?
  • What happens when an employee contests a positive result?

Indicate when the effective date of the alcohol and drug policy and when it was last updated.

Don’t forget to include when alcohol and drug policy becomes effective. This way, you can provide your employees with sufficient time to prepare and educate themselves. Alcohol and drug policy should also be reviewed and updated regularly.


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