Drugs and Alcohol

by Ian Robinson


The issue of treatment for staff must also be covered by the policy.

Companies invest a lot of resources in staff training and development and, if the cost of recruitment is also taken into account, then dismissing qualified staff can prove a very expensive option. Offering appropriate treatment to enable the employee to return to full productivity can therefore be a cost-effective alternative.

If appropriate, an employee can therefore be offered treatment to help them address their alcohol or drug issue. This can be a condition of their continued employment following an incident, and disciplinary action may be deferred until the outcome of the treatment is known.

If treatment, be it either medical or counselling, is going to be provided for the employee, it is vital that the correct organisation to provide that treatment is identified. It is a criticism often levelled at drug and alcohol treatment agencies that the clients are made to fit the treatment provided. Using an independent assessment organisation to interview the employee and identify their treatment needs will hopefully ensure that the most suitable provider can be identified – one that ‘fits’ the patient.

Examples of the types of treatment available include

  • Counselling
  • Mutual help groups (such as Alcoholics Anonymous)
  • Substitute prescribing
  • Community detoxification programmes
  • Day treatment centres
  • 12-step programmes
  • In-patient detoxification programmes
  • Residential rehabilitation.