What is addiction?
Addiction is known as the state of being consumed through the ingestion or practice of a specific substance which results in a psychological or physical habit-forming to an extent that can cause severe trauma and harm. Addiction can form through the abuse of drugs as the effects become continuous and compulsive and interferes with an individual’s life, work, family and health.
The Reality – ‘I would drink all day – never for the taste, just for the effect’ – Michael Bailey
Back in March 2017 RTS, Addiction NI & Inspire Workplaces collaborated to highlight the risks and impact associated with substance use and misuse in the workplace. Together, we aimed to increase knowledge about our products and services and how we can help reduce the impact of alcohol and other drugs in the working environment. Throughout the day we held a number of different information sessions and workshops outlining the importance of investing in employee wellbeing and support. Perhaps the most powerful element of the day was the personal testimony by a service user Michael Bailey, Michaels story helped bring his real life struggles in dealing with addition to life and highlighted his struggles maintaining employment and the risks he took.
At the age of 17 Michael started occasionally consuming alcohol and from his 20’s he found that he started drinking more alcohol at home than when he went out. Michael worked in car sales and found this role very stressful and found that his main coping strategy for work related stress was using alcohol. With his intake increasing, Michael’s marriage and family started to fall apart. Slowly, Michael’s family and friends started to turn away from him and he then lost the right to drive and therefore, his job. By then, Alcohol had taken over his life completely.
After this, Michael began to drink more and take drugs. As well as substance abuse Michael suffered from depression and he started to feel like life wound be better if he didn’t exist, from this Michael attempted to end his own life on numerous occasions.
Then, Michael found Addiction NI. Addiction NI supported Michael to address his problems and get his life back on track, identifying alcohol and drugs as the main source of coping and helping him alter the way he previously dealt with life stressors and past trauma. Following one-to-one therapy Michael engaged in group focussed support, this helped Michael speak to others in similar situations and he found that for the first time in 4 years there was some hope for the future. This was 2 years ago and now Michael is sober and has turned his life around through volunteering with Addiction NI to spread the awareness of the reality of substance abuse. Michael has since been supported in returning to the workplace and is now helping support some of the most vulnerable people in society today.
At RTS we are proud to have worked alongside Addiction NI, Inspire and Michael to share his story and show how he overcame addiction.
As part of the Substance Use in the Workplace Summit, Michael sat down with us and talked us through the journey he has been on. Click below to watch how alcohol and drugs overtook Michael’s life.
Developing and Supporting Workplace Wellbeing
Fostering employee wellbeing is good for people and their employers. Promoting wellbeing can prevent problems from escalating and help create positive working environments where individuals and organisations can thrive. Keeping people well and in work has obvious benefits: protection against financial hardship, promoting a better quality of life and allowing people to make the most of their potential. Conversely, being out of work can exacerbate physical and mental health problems and increase the chance of social exclusion.
The definition of wellbeing is the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy – There is no question that all employers want their employees to be comfortable in what they are doing, be happy in their roles and healthy both physically and mentally. The bigger question is what are they doing about it?
One significant area of concern and impact is that felt by the use and misuse of alcohol and drugs in the workplace. Concerns around employee health & safety, lost productivity from presenteeism and absenteeism and damage to an organisations reputation highlight the need for organisational review. By developing a wellbeing approach workplaces can highlight the need for health and safety and alcohol and drugs policies which also offer support and information to prevent incidents occurring.
Importance of a Workplace Policy
Many organisations implement a policy which outlines the company’s expectations concerning the consumption of alcohol and drugs at work. The vital importance of a workplace drug & alcohol policy is SAFETY, preventing the risk of accidents or problems occurring. For example, research has shown that 2.7% of accidents at work had been caused by someone with alcohol problems.
A workplace policy is important to implement to ensure that the safety of each staff member of met to all principles to maintain standards. Click to discover our complete blog post on the importance of a workplace drug and alcohol policy.
About Randox Testing Services
At Randox Testing Services we provide a comprehensive consultancy service that allows for employers to create, or modify, an effective drug and alcohol misuse policy. We offer advice, guidance and support in composing a policy to introduce employee testing to ensure workplace safety.
Our confidential policy review service provides assistance to employers with an existing substance misuse policy. With this service we help you to modify your existing document to ensure it is legally viable and can withstand challenge in court.
For more information on our products and services call +44 (0) 28 9445 1011, email, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.randoxtestingservices.com