Substance abuse is a dangerous pursuit. You do not have to be addicted per se, to risk injury and life, and you do not have to have an ongoing problem to cause havoc to yourself or those around you. Many cases exist where single use or a recreational use of a substance has caused harm, injury and even death. The issue of risk arising from certain drugs has been widely considered and debated, including substances such as ecstasy, amphetamines and cocaine.
Many pro-substance abuse and privacy issues advocates believe the use of drugs and alcohol recreationally only concerns the individual using the substances. But how true is this, given we live in a community and society, where the behaviour of one individual invariably impacts the behaviour and lives and experiences of others?
Public or Private?
So, is substance – even recreational use – really a private matter? For some this is of primary importance, and many unions in Australia will tout the privacy rights of its members as the most important factor when it comes to drug and alcohol testing in the workplace.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), one of the most powerful unions in Australia, says that “compulsory testing for alcohol and other drug use is not an appropriate feature of a prevention program. This is for a number of reasons, including the infringement of an individual’s rights, including the tight to privacy and the right to refuse invasive procedures on whatever grounds.”
In the US, most drug users are actually employed, “and when they arrive for work they don’t leave their problems at the door. 12.9 million of the US’s 17 million illicit drug users are employed full or part time.” In America, the US Department of Labor says that a “comprehensive drug-free workplace includes 5 components:
- A policy
- Supervisor training
- Employee education
- Employee assistance
- Drug testing.”
It recognises that there is a threat to others caused by drug and alcohol use. Dangers to self and others in the workplace can be and are, generated by AOD consumption by employees.Ultimately, the rights of all need to come before the needs of one or a few individuals whose alcohol and/or other drug patterns can compromise safety, security and even lead to injury and death on the job.
CMM Technology believes in a holistic AOD approach that incorporates testing and monitoring of employees for use of substances and alcohol. This may well be a highly effective preventative approach that warns the workplace employees that drug and alcohol usage is a threat to the workplace and to workplace safety, and will not be tolerated or ignored. Tough issues require tough, sturdy, and well strategised measures, and drug testing using advanced and high quality screening devices can help your industry grow.
You may need the advice and services of a quality supplier such as CMM Technology. For more information please phone them on 618 9204 2500.