According to Employer Response to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988: A Preliminary Look; which was posted in the Labor Law Journal by Petersen and Douglas, employers have a role to ensure that their workplaces are free of drug-related crimes. They are also expected to respond to such activities in cases where they occur. Drug abuse is, however, a real problem and employees often get involved in drug abuse that eventually ends up slowing the growth of the economy. Every company should put up measures to deal with these issues when they arise. Various employees will get controlled by different tactics and so different should be employed together for maximum effect.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia defines drug abuse as the use of chemical substances that modify the usual body functioning of the body rather than as prescribed by a physician. Drug abuse may be classified as either abuse of either legal substance like alcoholic beverages, nicotine and inhalants or the use of illegal substances such as morphine, marijuana, cocaine and hashish. Abuse of legal substances is classified in the illegal category when a drug is deviated from its legal use.
Peterson and Douglas argue that drug abuse may be very destructive when it gets into the workplace. First, drugged personnel may not deliver on their roles. This often leads to poor company performance. These people also lack focus and concentration and are a hazard in the company. They are likely to cause accidents in the workplace easily. Drug abusers are also hard to control and, therefore, may result in misuse of company resources in the form of time and labor.
In his article Drug, Abuse in the Sales Force posted on the Journal Of Personal Selling & Sales Management Patton claims that drug abuse at the workplace may be associated with several factors. Traditionally, drug abuse was associated with a feeling of hopelessness, anxiety or depression. It however, now believed that properties of the job structure like stress, pressure, lack of focus or direction, presence of other drug abusers and social norms have a role to play. It is, therefore, important for companies to see that they do not put their employees under undue pressure.
The Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly recommends that before dealing with the problem, the company should sit down and lay down a way forward. The way forward should be dependent of the members of the society, the most abused drugs and the level of abuse already in place. Several methods can be employed to stem drug abuse before it gets out of proportion to ensure a stable society.
First, according to Horwitz in her article The Role of The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD): Confronting the Problem of Illegal Drugs in the Americas posted on Latin American Politics & Society journal, the company should seriously consider employing drug awareness programs. These programs will help towards sensitizing the people about the effects drugs can make on their health and behavior. This way, companies will reduce the prevalence of this vice in their societies. Sensitizing is often done in the form of training and follow-up refresher courses to ensure that workers understand the consequences of drug abuse.
Companies can also set-up an anti-drug policy that should be closely observed. This will help the company to know exactly what measures will be taken after identifying cases of drug abuse according to Patton. This way, the company will not need to have a sitting to make decisions about errant employees. The company should also make this document available for the employees. This way, employees will not feel mistreated once action has been taken.
Finally, employers should also create a back-up plan in the form of counseling and rehabilitation initiatives that will help in dealing with problems once they arise. This is important for a company to avoid conflict with the law over strict measures such as a layoff according to Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly. Patton argues that this department will also ensure the company retains its valuable employees who would otherwise be lost to the vice if ignored. Using this method will help the employee to resume to his former level of productivity and hence the company will have gained.
In conclusion, drug abuse has been a problem in many industries for a long time. Companies should therefore be ready to handle the situation before it arises. Many methods have been identified to deal with the vice. However, it is advisable to employ all available options in the fight against drug abuse.
“Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2013): 1-4. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 June 2014.
“Reports Highlight Challenges Of Combating Substance Use In Workplace. (Cover Story).” Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly 19.28 (2007): 1-3. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 June 2014.
Horwitz, Betty. “The Role of The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD): Confronting The Problem Of Illegal Drugs In The Americas.” Latin American Politics & Society 52.2 (2010): 139-165. Business Source Complete. Web. 19 June 2014.
Patton III, W. E. “Drug Abuse In The Sales Force.” Journal Of Personal Selling & Sales Management 8.2 (1988): 21-33. Business Source Complete. Web. 19 June 2014.
Petersen, Donald J., and Douglas Massengill. “Employer Response To The Drug-Free Workplace Act Of 1988: A Preliminary Look.” Labor Law Journal 42.3 (1991): 144-151. Business Source Complete. Web. 19 June 2014.
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