Summary

Alcohol and drug misuse is everyone's concern. In the context of work, not only does it damage the misuser's health, but it can cost employers through absenteeism and reduced productivity.

There are well-documented links between alcohol and drug use, prescribed or not. The risks include impairment in cognition, perception and motor skills, at both acute and chronic levels, as well as a number of specific health risks.

Employers should adopt a substance misuse policy, in consultation with their staff, and employment contracts should be clear about this. This policy should aim to support affected employees, with disciplinary measures a last resort.

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