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Drug & Alcohol Awareness: Substance Misuse - food for thought

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How long does it take us - when the sun emerges from the clouds - to strip down to our bare essentials, grab a beer from the fridge, and hop outside to soak it up? As a nation comprised of many Vitamin-D-deficient folk, how can we resist?

BUT… How often does that one beer turn into two, three, four, or even an all-consuming binge?

And at which point, if any, does it cross our minds that it’s actually Sunday, and we have to be up for work at 6am?

The dangers of alcohol

We are told to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week. We’re also told this should be spread out over three or more days; bear in mind that 14 units is the limit, not the goal. A bottle of wine contains 10 units! How many of us can go through a bottle or two in a week, few days, or even an evening?

We often choose to ignore the fact that a hangover and a severe lack of productivity at work is imminent, at the very least.

In our Drug & Alcohol Awareness Course, we wanted to touch upon the dangers of substance misuse. Regardless of the reason - whether it’s the sun, stress, addiction, or any other factor – that may be causing excessive drug and alcohol consumption, it needs to be addressed.

Drinking alcohol in moderation can be an enjoyable addition to a good meal, a social function, or even to a Tuesday evening after a stressful day at work. ALTHOUGH, many of us forget (because its legal, easily accessible and largely socially-acceptable) that alcohol IS a drug and consuming drugs is detrimental to our emotional and physical health.

Alcohol can kill too. More than 10% of people who die in their 40s die because of liver disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in the UK.

Being aware of substance misuse

Our course highlights the negative impact drugs and alcohol can have on our body, state of mind, relationships and our working life; and it offers practical solutions about dealing with substance misuse.

Our course also supports the use of a Substance Misuse Policy in the workplace. This document will be different in every organisation, but it should include a commitment to training and raising awareness about substance misuse. It will also include a protocol to be followed by both employees and employers to combat any problems relating to drugs and alcohol. This is a good place to start if drug or alcohol consumption is affecting one’s ability to work, stay safe at work, or if it’s compromising to anyone’s safety in any way.

Immediate dismissal is possible depending on the job role or the potential offence. However, there will usually be a list of steps to follow to help someone get back on track. Management should approach the subject carefully, offer support and assistance, and strive to create a working environment where employees can be as happy, safe and stress-free as possible.

Identifying a problem, asking for help and working towards a practical solution is the best way forward. The brief enjoyment, relief or solace drugs and alcohol can bring do not outweigh the damages to one’s health, career, emotional state and the lives of their loved ones.

Going to work with a spring in your step instead of a migraine will make your day much brighter!

Statistics relating to substance misuse

It can be difficult to understand the dangers of substance misuse the sheer amount of casualties that can be put down to it.

So here are a few statistics relating to substance misuse that may give you a better understanding of the dangers of substance misuse:

  • 70% of violent incidents on weekends, evenings and in the night are alcohol-related.
  • Alcohol-related crime in the UK is estimated to cost between £8 and £13 BILLION each year.
  • Almost 2/3 smokers want to give up their habit but find it difficult to do so.
  • In 2015 there were 2,479 registered deaths related to drug misuse - the highest number since comparable records began over 2 decades ago.
  • In 2014, 15% of Secondary School & College pupils in England had reported taken drugs.

For a better understanding of substance misuse, we’re offering a no-obligation free trial to our course!