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Drug and Alcohol Abuse In The Workplace

Most companies, large and small, are committed to workplace safety. Companies take drug and alcohol abuse seriously. They create company policies to combat workplace drug and alcohol usage, whether the abuse takes place while an employee is at work, before beginning a work shift, or after getting off work.

Drug and alcohol abuse is a problem that cost many hours of lost productivity, not to mention health and safety issues. Next to violent behavior in the workplace, drugs and alcohol usage on the job are two of the most grievous offenses for employees.

Many companies have zero tolerance policies on drug and alcohol abuse, thereby reserving the right to test any employee at any time. Cocaine, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, and other addictive drugs are prohibited under any circumstances in most companies regardless to when or where they are taken.

If a drug test is administered and an employee is found to have abused such drugs, the employee could be required to undergo strict drug rehabilitation or they could be terminated immediately.

  • If an employee is involved in an accident, on or off the clock, he or she may be required to take a drug and alcohol test.
  • If an employee appears to be intoxicated or high on drugs while at work, based on observation by management or co-workers, a drug test may be required.
  • Prescription drugs may interfere with an employee's ability to work in a safe and sound manner, especially if driving or operating equipment. Company policy may require the reporting of prescription drug use to management. A statement from a physician stating that the use of such medications will not interfere with the employee's ability to perform the job safely may also be required.
  • A drug test may be required for pre-employment status and can be used as the determining factor in whether employment is granted or not.

Although certain companies allow the consumption of wine or mixed drinks during lunch hours, many other companies have a ban on any usage of alcohol at any time immediately before or during working hours. This includes any alcoholic beverage or mixture that is intentionally or unintentionally consumed and any medications that contain alcohol, whether prescribed or over the counter.

Refusing to take a drug or alcohol test on demand may be a cause for immediate termination.


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