Alcohol and drug misuse has an impact on everyone at work. Not only does it damage the misuser's health and potentially increase the risk to all employees’ health and safety, it can also cost employers through absenteeism and reduced productivity.

There are well-documented links of the increased risks associated with 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 employees, 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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