Workplace situations frequently call for attentiveness, accuracy, and rapid reflexes. Incidents can occur and work can become less accurate and efficient when these attributes are compromised. Impairment could come from a variety of circumstances (including fatigue or stress). Any impact on a person's judgment, alertness, perception, motor coordination, or emotional state that also affects working safely or safety-sensitive decisions aftereffects of substance use (hangover, withdrawal), affecting job performance illness or injury absenteeism, or decreased productivity obsession with obtaining and using drugs while at work, interfering with attention and coherence Noting that substance use can range from recreational to frequent to problematic, despite the fact that it is frequently thought of as an addiction or dependence. There are thus various effects on people's lives and jobs. Years of casual use of a chemical without progressing to dangerous usage, being at different positions on the spectrum at different periods, etc. are all possibilities. Employers should think about whether there is a risk to the worker's safety or the safety of others in light of this spectrum. For instance, while intoxicated: Does the person possess the necessary skills to carry out the job or task (such as driving, operating machinery, or using sharp objects) safely? Does it affect judgment or cognitive function? Remember: In the workplace, it is not the responsibility of the employer to determine whether a person has a substance use disorder; rather, it is their responsibility to remain alert to any potential problems.
What will this document cover?
This article will cover topics like potential costs to a business and how problematic substance use may impact the workplace.
What are the consequences of various chemical types generally speaking?
A general summary of typical compounds and their effects can be found in the table below. It should be noted that sharing needles might spread Hepatitis B, C, and HIV if the material is used for injection. Examples of Categories Illustrations of General Effects Alcohol wine, beer, and spirits A lethal overdose may result from poor judgment, decreased reflexes, impaired motor function, tiredness or drowsiness, or both. Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs used to treat anxiety, seizures, and sleep disorders (including panic attacks) confusion, grogginess, sleepiness, forgetfulness, slurred speech, weakness of the muscles, and lack of coordination and balance. may also include hallucinations, delusions, anxiety attacks, euphoria, restlessness, and agitation. Cannabis, marijuana, and hashish cause a warped perception of time as well as memory and coordination problems. Drugs that cause depression, such as opiates prescription painkillers, sedatives, certain tranquilizers, morphine, heroin, codeine, and fentanyl, as well as sleeping pills Overdosage may be fatal due to inattentiveness, decreased reflexes, depression, impaired balance, sleepiness, unconsciousness, coma, slow breathing, nausea, vomiting, and constricted pupils. Hallucinogens LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), PCP (phencyclidine), mescaline, magic mushrooms (which include the chemicals psilocybin and psilocin), salvia, and sensory illusions. Hallucinations, confusion, disorientation, psychosis, impaired coordination, and weakness are also common side effects. Hydrocarbons, solvents, gasoline, paints, thinners, and dry cleaning fluids are all inhalables. headache, vertigo, and alcohol-like drunkenness. Simulated, but results in muscle wasting, depression, confusion, inattentiveness, and lack of coordination. Smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, and snuff all contain nicotine and have stimulant and depressive effects at first. (Source: Health Canada ""Controlled and illegal drugs"" (various documents dated 2020 to 2022)) Stimulants cocaine/crack, amphetamines/methamphetamines, MDMA(3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), etc. elevated mood, overactivity, feeling of more energy and self-confidence, panic, anxiety, paranoid thinking, tremors, dizziness, violent behavior, rapid or difficult breathing, sleeping changes, depression, extreme
What occurs when someone consumes drugs?
Substance abuse can occasionally alter the way our brains work and are built, making it impossible to stop using drugs despite the risk of negative effects. A condition known as substance use disorder may develop as a result of these modifications to our brain function. The use of substances is not a choice, a sign of weakness, or a moral failing; it is a medically recognized sickness. Depending on the substance, a person may develop a substance use problem or become addicted more quickly. Opioid medicines, for example, have a higher risk and accelerate the disorder's development more swiftly than other drugs. Addiction to substances is not a choice. An individual with a substance use problem craves the drug and is unconcerned about its negative effects. The drug takes center stage in their emotions, ideas, and actions. In reality, substance use disorders are quite complex, and they can arise for a variety of reasons, such as: Life events, particularly trauma or persistent stress external variables mentally healthy (emotions, thoughts, feelings, mental illness, etc.) biological and genetics These factors make it difficult to cease using drugs, as does physical dependence. The medical disease known as substance use disorder can be treated. No one chooses to become addicted. Do not think it is a simple matter of a person not having the willpower to control themselves. Understand that when an individual seeks help or treatment, this journey may have many routes, and healing may take some time. Recurrence is common.
What are the costs to a workplace?
The economic impacts of substance use in Canada to a workplace or industry have been traditionally difficult to measure. Many costs are hidden by general absenteeism or illnesses, """"unnoticed"""" lack of productivity, or inability or reluctance to link substance use directly with causes of incidents. Costs to a business may be both direct and indirect. The impact of substance use that have been reported include: safety (fatalities, incidents, etc.) absenteeism/sick leave/turnover or presenteeism loss of production, and workplace violence and harassment. Additional costs can include:tardiness/sleeping on the jobtheft (e.g., money, items taken for resale) poor decision making loss of efficiency lower morale and physical well-being of worker and co-workers increased likelihood of having trouble with co-workers or supervisors disciplinary procedures drug testing programs medical/rehabilitation/employee assistance programs training of new employees
Are there elements of work that may contribute to the use of substances?
Various and numerous organizational, personal and social factors can play a major role why a person may choose to use a substance. In general, however, some work-related factors can include:high stress,high demand/low control situations,low job satisfaction,long hours or irregular shifts,fatigue,repetitious duties,periods of inactivity or boredom,isolation,lack of opportunity for promotion,lack of, remote, or irregular supervision and,easy access to substances.
What can the workplace do?
The workplace can be an important place to help address substance use issues. Employers and employees can collaborate to design a management of impairment policy which outlines what is an acceptable code of behaviour and what is not. The main goal is that workplaces are encouraged to establish a procedure or policy so that help can be provided in a professional and consistent manner. It is important for supervisors and managers to have a resource or procedure that they can rely on if the need arises. Employees need to know that everyone will be treated the same way. These actions help to reduce the stigma associated with substance use. When stigma is reduced, it is hoped that people will seek help without fear, and will speak openly about substance use issues. Early treatment and support are encouraged. In addition, managers and supervisors should be educated in how to recognize and manage substance use issues and employees should be offered educational programs. Recall it is not the role of the supervisor or employer to diagnose a possible substance use or dependency problem. Their role is to identify if an employee is impaired, and to take the appropriate steps as per the organization’s policy. By establishing or promoting programs such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), employers can help employees more directly or provide referrals to community services. Note that under federal, provincial, and territorial human rights legislation, substance use disorder is considered a disability. Discrimination based on disability is not legal. Employers have a duty to accommodate disabilities to the point of undue hardship. Undue hardship is considered on a case-by-case basis. Please see the OSH Answers Impairment at Work – Policy and Recognition for details to be included in a management of impairment in the workplace policy."""