The occupational wellbeing and safety programmes of companies include substance abuse prevention, which is part of the programmes’ preventive actions. Substance abuse prevention includes processing matters related to substance abuse and seeking medical attention.
Small companies should also create a policy regarding the modes of substance abuse prevention in cooperation between the staff, the company and the occupational health care service provider.
The advantages of a substance abuse programme for the company and its employees
- Substance abuse programmes support employees who need help to seek support.
- In small work communities, substance abuse policies are effective if everybody knows how to act if a colleague is intoxicated or suffers from substance abuse.
- The substance abuse programme is a useful tool for supervisors if the substance abuse compromises the friendship between employees in a small work community.
- Substance abuse programmes are an integral part of the basic rules of working life.
- Open and honest discussion about a difficult matter can help the person in need of help tremendously (early support).
Substance abuse and its effect on work performance
- Intoxicated employees pose a risk of occupational accidents that might include not only themselves, but others as well.
- If a person who suffers from substance abuse is constantly absent from work, the stress experienced by others in a small work community increases as well as their workload.
- A person who suffers from substance abuse is unable to concentrate or contribute fully to the work community (underperformance and increased number of errors).
- People who suffer from substance abuse are susceptible to many diseases, which increases the frequency of sickness-related absences and places more stress on other employees.
- As the number of sickness-related absence days increases, the performance of the company declines.
Occupational health care services play an important supportive role in the substance abuse programme
- Supervisor support
- Guiding, supportive and encouraging approach
- Establishing a framework for seeking medical attention
- Guidance and instructions