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It is Ice cold and critical

It is Ice cold and critical (Last Updated On: August 14, 2015)

Ice can hit anyone – as we’ve learnt recently with two high profile parents of young Australians appealing for help as all resources are exhausted, and so are they.

The NT Police Commissioner, Peter Chandler and Australian Senator Jacqui Lambie, have spoken in the last 48 hours of their heartache and distress as a result of their children’s addiction to ice. Both are seeking media attention to raise awareness as they believe this is their ‘only solution’.

From executives to stay at home mums, recent new pieces have identified that anyone can be using or be affected by this drug. It is a real world problem where fathers, mothers, friends, colleagues and associates are affected. It is a very apparent tragedy in our immediate community that is destroying lives.

The statistics are staggering

  • 75% of all drug users have tried ice
  • Hospitalisations in Melbourne with ice associated illnesses have increased by more than 300% in the last year
  • The effects of this drug can distance users so far from reality that focusing on day to day tasks can deteriorate in only a matter of weeks
  • The drug is impacting the working lives of many, leading to increased requests for carers leave, productivity losses, as well as absenteeism. Employers are also faced with the issue of protecting the welfare of all other employees effected by those under the influence

A study from Flinders University proved that there is a linear relationship between drug and alcohol consumption and sick days/absences from work. Alarmingly, these statistics show, sickies associated with drugs and alcohol is equivalent to 11.5 million days at a cost of $3 billion to the nation.

Have you ever heard of Weepy Wednesdays? This is the phase used when people ‘mix alcohol with amphetamines on the weekends and experience delayed effects of their drug use, making them irritable and unreliable workers by mid-week’. Drug users experience a deterioration of their general wellbeing during the week and this has significant implications on their work.

It is fair enough to admit this is an epidemic. We may not be able to advise you on how to avoid this in your businesses but we can guide you on some steps to take to protect yourself, your staff and promote a healthy culture in the workplace.

How to protect your business and your employees

  • Have a strict drug and alcohol policy in place, highlighting procedures and potential actions for non-compliance;
  • Ensure all staff have read, understood and signed a copy of this policy
  • Make it compulsory for all employees to provide updated emergency contacts
  • Treat all potential drug related incidents with the same process and procedure. Do not provide exemptions for some and not for others
  • Monitor and keep records of all absence from work
  • Implement a return to work interview when sick leave is taken
  • Include in your policy that a medical certificate needs to be produced for every sick day taken
  • Provide confidential access to counselling and treatment if employees need it
  • Educate and train staff to make sure they are aware of the health and safety risks associated with drugs in the workplace

To eliminate the negative effects of drugs and alcohol in your business, contact Employsure today on 1300 651 415. We can assist you to implement a drug and alcohol policy and also advise you should any issues arise due to drugs or alcohol in the workplace.

Sourced: The Australian Newspaper, SMH and ABC News

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