The UK has a higher prevalence of drug misuse than any other country in Europe (Health in Wales). This is important because the problem use of illicit or prescription drugs carries many serious health risks, often because they are not controlled or supervised by medical professionals.
As well as having immediate health risks, some drugs can cause physical or psychological dependency, with the result that larger amounts are needed to get the same effect often leading to long-term damage to the body. In other circumstances an overdose can cause permanent damage to the body and can be fatal.
In 2016/17 18,279 clients were assessed for alcohol and drug misuse. 8,542 of these clients were drugs abusers. Males accounted for 71.5% of drug abusers. The most used drug was Heroin which accounted for 18.4% (3,363) followed by Cannabis accounting for 11% (2,017) and Cocaine accounting for 3.7% (683).
Within Wales’ working population (25-49) there has been a decrease in the number of hospital admissions for alcohol specific conditions but there has been an increase in admissions for illicit drug use. Opioids continued to account for considerably more hospital admissions than any other illicit substance. Substantial increases were seen in assessments in which cocaine was reported as the primary problematic substance in this age group.
This age category makes up a majority of the working population within Wales and with the widespread availability of drugs and alcohol, there is an increased risk of substance abuse spilling into the workplace leading to huge ramifications for the business and its employees. Jeopardising the safety of not only the user, but also their co-workers and in some cases the general public, it affects the whole business environment and puts those present at serious risk of harm.
For an overview of some of the key facts about drug use in Wales click here to view our new downloadable poster.
Randox Testing Services
At Randox Testing Services we provide a range of testing solutions to enable you to conduct employee testing. Our screening procedure is efficient and involves an experienced sample collection officer visiting your premises to collect samples and transport them back to our laboratories for analysis.
Conducted as a follow up on a confirmed positive drug or alcohol test. If an employer provides support to an employee who has had a confirmed positive drug or alcohol test, this type of testing may be used to help with rehabilitation.
This is the most popular type of workplace testing especially in industries which have safety critical roles. This type of testing is an essential part of a company’s recruitment process and clearly states the company’s position on drug and alcohol misuse for any potential employee.
Used to determine if drugs or alcohol may have contributed to an accident/incident in the workplace. This type of testing can be an effective tool in accident investigations and it is our recommendation that should an incident occur, all employees involved should be tested.
A popular type of testing within workplaces as it acts as a deterrent to drug and alcohol abuse. A company’s drug and alcohol testing policy should clearly outline that they carry out random workplace testing ensuring employees do not know when the event is planned.
Performed when a company is suspicious that an employee may be currently under the influence of alcohol or misusing drugs. This suspicion is normally raised if an employee is acting out of character and there has been observed different behaviours.
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