Drug and Alcohol Policy Development

A drug and alcohol policy forms the foundation of addressing the use of substances in the workplace.

Having a comprehensive drug and alcohol policy in place was associated with significantly decreased probability of risky drinking and with any drug use. In fact, a University of NSW & Injury Risk Management Research Centre study found 

Construction workers with beer

“…drug (users) were more likely to work in companies that did not have policies against drug use or did not enforce existing policies and so may have more liberal attitudes to drug use…” 

Does your workplace need a new policy?

Medvet works collaboratively with clients to create new policies. We bring our knowledge of best practice and expertise in the field to fully customise a drug and alcohol policy and procedure to meet your unique needs.

This could include

  • The scientific reasons to select different testing options - e.g. deciding between oral fluid, urine or hair testing;
  • The most appropriate design of testing program - when to test, what proportion of the team to include in random selection, when to undertake targeted or post-incident testing;
  • Best practice in education and training - educating all employees for better health outcomes, and training managers and supervisors to spot the possible influence of drugs or alcohol at work;
  • The role of rehabilitation and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) - when and how to assist workers returning a confirmed positive drug or alcohol test;
  • Best practice in disciplinary issues specific to drug and alcohol testing - including how many 'strikes' an employee handling a substance abuse issue might have before disciplinary matters are undertaken, including possible dismissal;
  • Issues associated with relevant union discussions - involving unions in development of your program, to ensure the interests of workers are kept at heart;
  • Best practice in implementation and employee consultation - ensuring a smooth transition from your prior arrangements to the new drug and alcohol policy; and
  • Confidentiality and legal defensibility of testing - how and when to disclose information, balancing safety with the privacy of the employee and the requirements of the law.
Do you already have a policy, but want it assessed?

Many clients already have a policy. This could be a purchased template, or something you have developed internally, possibly some time ago. Medvet can work with clients to assess current documents'  effectiveness. Medvet applies all the knowledge and skills of policy development listed above to determine how your current policy or program meets your specific requirements needs.

Medvet recommends routine examination of how your business manages substances in the workplace, bringing in recent testing trends to ensure you are always achieving the best outcomes. Depending on the size and complexity of your organisation, this could happen yearly, or more or less frequently. We can help you determine the frequency, by identifying risk factors that might be specific to your industry, or coming changes within testing processes and Standards.

Who is providing this advice within Medvet?

Medvet can ensure your policy is reviewed by the very best. New policies and reviews/updates of existing documents are conducted by our in-house Senior Toxicologist, Dr John Edwards. Dr Edwards, the PhD-qualified author of our monthly Toxicology Blog has decades' experience in toxicology, both as a consultant and an educator. He is assisted by an experienced team, including your local Medvet Business Development Executive, and our operations team. Once your policy is implemented, Dr Edwards is also available ongoing to provide technical advice and laboratory report interpretation, ensuring you always have quality testing information to support your team.

To arrange consultation and discuss your drug and alcohol program, contact Medvet today.

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