Drugs and alcohol policies in the workplace

Drugs and alcohol policies in the workplace

A British parliamentary committee has reported that former professional road and track cyclist, Bradley Wiggins, used medication to enhance his performance during the Tour de France in 2012, which he went on to win.


Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins have crossed an ‘ethical line’ after stating the medication was taken to supposedly treat his asthma. The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee report said the therapeutic use exemption (TUE) process had been abused. Team Sky issued a statement strongly refuting the claim.


The committee believe the steroid, triamcinolone, was used to help prepare Wiggins and other cyclists for the Tour de France. Triamcinolone is banned to use in sport. However, athletes can use it if they have a health problem.


Bradley Wiggins was given a TUE prior to the competition. It is reported Wiggins used the drug to improve his weight to power ratio.


Wiggins stated: “I find it so sad that accusations can be made, where people can be accused of things they have never done which are then regarded as facts”.


Drugs and alcohol policies

Drugs and alcohol policies should highlight how issues are consistently and effectively dealt with. The policies should protect workers and encourage them to raise their problems with their employer. The dangers of misusing both drugs and alcohol should be identified so the employee is aware of how it can affect them.


Drugs and alcohol abuse can be seen as an illness. In these circumstances, employers should be there to help their employee. Employers should look at creating and implementing a policy on rehabilitation to help aid the worker. Drugs can affect an individual’s physical and mental health, so the sooner the problem is addressed, the quicker the employee can be rehabilitated.


All managers should receive training so they are aware of how to deal with workers who need help with their problem. The training will also help managers to understand what signs to look out for and how they can get expert help and advice.


Drugs misuse

Drug misuse doesn’t only affect the user’s health; it also will lower their productivity and have an impact on absenteeism which impacts their employer. Organisations could look to create a substance misuse policy that helps support affected employees. Doing this will help employees to trust their employer because they know they are trying to help them rather than dismissing or punishing them.


Dealing drugs at work should not be tolerated. If this happens in your workplace, the police must be involved straight away. Drugs and alcohol are completely different from one another as it is socially acceptable to drink alcohol whereas taking drugs if more than often illegal.


Alcohol misuse

An alcohol policy must cover how employers can recognise excessive drinking and how they can offer help. The policy must also state at what point employers will start treating employees who do drink as a disciplinary rather than a health problem.


Misusing alcohol can result in decreased productivity. This will affect the employees and overall business performance. Regularly consuming alcohol can also result in employees taking time off work, which will affect the employer as well.


If you need any advice or guidance on drugs and alcohol policies, please contact a member of the HPC team:


T: 0844 800 5932

E: help@highpeformanceconsultancy.com

Twitter: @HPC_HRservices

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