Heady Mixture – Alcohol and Pot

Workplace Drug Test, Chain Of Custody, Pre ScreeningCMM Technology brings you the personal views and account of a heavy industries employee who is also a recovering alcoholic.*

I vividly remember the words of one of my friends who worked at a drug rehab centre at Melbourne. He had said “As someone who has worked at rehab centres, I think I would be accurate in saying that the chances of an employee mixing alcohol and pot at the workplace is pretty much remote unless the employee is working alone”1.

I remembered his words as I was reading a newspaper the other day because there was a report about some bloke in Hong Kong, who was working as a crane operator. Seems he crashed a large container onto a truck and a few minutes later, he came crashing down the crane control box and fell to his death. The truck and the container were badly damaged. The news report went on to say that autopsy revealed that the man had a heady mixture of alcohol and drugs (identified as Marijuana) in his blood. Clearly, crane operators are one group of people who need to have drug and alcohol testing before they are allowed to begin work2.

If a person has a few nips (or more) of alcohol and then smokes pot i.e. Marijuana, the motor skills are usually completely shot down the drain. The person’s face would definitely indicate the state of his intoxication. In fact, I doubt very much whether the person would even be in a position to sit straight in a chair much less work. This however does not mean that drug and alcohol testing at the workplace is not required3.

I have had friends tell me that they know others who take a few nips of alcohol and then smoke a cigarette containing a very tiny quantity of weed. They do so, on the job. And at one time in my life, I did the same! Having so fortified themselves, they are ready for the challenges of the day. The mixture of small quantity of alcohol and drugs in this case (and depending on the individual metabolism), is not sufficient to prevent the person from ‘working’.

Whether such a person could deliver the kind of quality that was intended of him, or is able to do adequate justice to the work allotted to him is open to question. MY view and my personal experience is that this is not possible.

There is absolutely doubt that sizeable numbers of people do consume alcohol at work. There also seems to be little doubt that small portions of these do also smoke pot after they have had a small peg or two of alcohol. Both these categories do injustice to their jobs, their careers and ultimately, the client. Drug and alcohol testing at the workplace should therefore be made mandatory. The workplace is no place for either alcohol or drugs4.

There are people who do not consume alcohol but love to smoke pot just before they enter the office. Psychologists say that this group of people probably do not like either their job or the environment they work in. Smoking weed is their way of helping dull the pain of having to work in the place. Employees who have been demoted or passed over for promotion or harbour some anger at the workplace but do not wish to leave the job because of the pay and other considerations, are most likely to fall victim to the pleasures of smoking pot.

Drug and alcohol testing is not meant to weed out and dismiss such staff. Drug and alcohol testing is meant to identify and help such staff kick the habit and return to being productive members of the organisation5. It worked with me. And it put me on the real road to recovery. Better for the workplace, better for me, better for my family.

Contact CMM Technology for more information about quality testing devices of all kinds. Telephone 618 9204 2500

Footnotes and references:

1. First-hand account at mixing alcohol and drugs: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060722134555AAf3ii5

2. Data of Marijuana and its effects:  http://www.acde.org/common/Marijana.htm

3. Substance abuse at the workplace is quite widespread: http://workplace.samhsa.gov/WPWorkit/pdf/why_you_should_care_about_having_a_drug_free_workplace_fs.pdf

4. Effects of alcohol, drugs and tobacco: http://www.rosicrucian.com/zineen/pamen002.htm

5. Statistics on substance abuse at the workplace: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/asp/drugfree/benefits.htm (U.S.)

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