Drugs and alcohol - what impact are they having on your business?

“The bottom line is, there is a problem out there and by talking about this subject we have done something, instead of nothing. If it helps one company grow, saves one marriage or even one liver then we have done something great.”

Martin Lauer, Director of FEO and Managing Director of The One Point.

Our members employ over 23,000 people and represent successful private sector businesses of all sectors and sizes, all with a common goal to boost the economy in Hull and East Yorkshire and to create more ambitious entrepreneurs, by lifting regional aspirations.

Therefore, as entrepreneurs and employers, it is vital that we are all:

Looking out for number 1!

As the first in a series of Members only events which focus on; “Looking out for Number 1”, FEO invited Laura Jarvis from The Alcohol and Drug Service (ADS) who heads up Generis, a specialist service to support employers when there is an issue with drugs and/or alcohol within the workforce.

Jan Brumby Chief Executive of FEO said:

“In the same way flight attendants ask that in the case of an emergency, passengers should put on their own oxygen mask before helping others, FEO encourages members to look out for number one, taking care of health both physically and mentally in order to take on the constant challenges they face.

“Throughout the pandemic, FEO has worked closely to support members who have all been affected in different ways. Some have seen their business grow, whilst others diversified to survive. However during this time, we know that alcohol and drugs have affected some employees from junior staff to those in senior management positions. In response, we want to start some important conversations.”

With a negative impact on company culture, morale, productivity and the bottom line, businesses can benefit from specialist support when this issue arises.

Screening tool

This simple screening tool helps you and members of your team to understand how the usage of drugs or alcohol could be affecting their health. It takes 5 minutes to answer some straight forwards questions:

Alcohol questionnaire - https://ads-uk.org/alcohol-questionnaire/

Drugs questionnaire - https://ads-uk.org/drug-questionnaire/

Hangovers vs productivity

The webinar session posed questions about the effect of hangovers on a person’s ability to work effectively and if a colleague were to witness problems at work, would they feel able to say or do anything about it?

Alcohol and drugs, can and do affect anyone

Laura shared three case studies: a director whose habit quickly got out on control after using cocaine to deal with stress at work, an employee who began drinking earlier in the day and consuming more alcohol during lockdown. Followed by an individual whose pain from a sporting injury led to a dangerous relationship with over-the-counter opioids.

Whilst these issues are commonplace in many businesses, quite often employers lack the skills and knowledge to act on it. Yet with a negative impact on company culture, morale, productivity and the bottom line, businesses can benefit from specialist support when this issue arises.

E-learning platform

As an accredited training provider, The Alcohol and Drug Service is launching an e-learning platform to improve knowledge and ability to manage the issue, when substance misuse affects a person’s work.

Based on over 35 years of experience in specialist Drug and Alcohol services, working in partnerships with the NHS and local authorities. It includes; Drug Awareness, Alcohol Awareness and Tackling Substance Misuse.

This portal offers a practical online training resource for managers and supervisors to reduce risk within their organisation, return to productivity and better support employees who display issues.

Numbers increase during lockdown

Laura Jarvis said:

“At Generis we know there is an issue out there. Numbers presenting to The Alcohol and Drug Service have more than doubled since restrictions first came into place in March 2020, with home workers being one of the biggest groups affected. Many started drinking earlier in the day and consuming more than if they had been working from business premises.”

“I have enjoyed working with FEO, an organisation that offers real support to its members.”

For more information on the online training courses include; Drug Awareness which removes the mystery surrounding both illegal and prescription drugs, the implications of using these substances and related health issues. Alcohol Awareness explains safe limits, effects on health and relationships, withdrawal and how to help those affected and Tackling Substance Misuse gives a broad understanding of the required treatments, support agencies, prevention, promoting well-being and how to promote a safe working environment.

For more information visit: http://generis.ads-uk.org/

Special thanks to Laura Jarvis, Martin Lauer and Andy Crozier for sharing their invaluable knowledge and experience

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