A drug and alcohol policy is a formal document that defines a company’s stance in relation to drugs and alcohol in a clear and concise way for both the employer and employees. It forms the foundation of a company’s drug and alcohol testing programme and will outline how substance abuse issues will be handled, what constitutes non-compliance of policy and provides a procedure so that employees with a problem can seek assistance.

“The importance of having a robust drug and alcohol policy cannot be emphasised enough”, says Claire Leech, AlphaBiolabs’ Workplace Testing Sales Executive. “Not only does it give employees clear guidance on what they can and can’t do, it details what support is available to them, as well as which disciplinary procedures apply. It also provides Managers with clear guidance on which procedures they should follow.”

With an effective drug and alcohol policy a company ethos is established for everyone to adhere to. Staff will be encouraged to follow the rules and they will act as a deterrent to future employees. Discouraging substance abusers from applying for a position at your company will reduce your potential for revenue loss and legal problems.

Keep it clear and concise

It is important that your policy document is comprehensive, specific and succinct. Salient points should be covered in detail but try and keep the document as clear and concise as possible. It needs to outline the objective of the policy, specify who it applies to, detail which substances it covers, and explain what happens if employees contravene the conditions of the policy.

The outcome of a failed workplace drug test or alcohol test could mean disciplinary action, therapy or dismissal. If your company has a zero-tolerance policy, a positive test could be seen as gross misconduct resulting in immediate dismissal or suspension while there is an investigation. This is most likely to be the case in safety-critical positions, such as driving or operating machinery. Any employee with an addiction or substance dependency problem should be encouraged to inform their Line Manager in confidence. Disciplinary action may be suspended whilst appropriate treatment and/or rehabilitation is sought.

We can help

AlphaBiolabs can fully manage your drug and alcohol policy or amend and modify an existing one. Our workplace team can provide advice in conjunction with your health and safety personnel to ensure that your drug and alcohol policy is independent and impartial. We can tailor your policy to your needs and provide advice and solutions to any issues or limitations present.

Implementing a drug and alcohol policy can have a positive impact on the workplace and can help maintain the reputation and integrity of the business. It can also save your business money with less staff sickness and need for recruitment. Workforce productivity should increase and less workplace incidents will result in less claims being made against the business. Above all, as well as maintaining the safety of staff and the public, a drug and alcohol policy ensures your business is operating lawfully.

AlphaBiolabs can create a bespoke workplace drug and alcohol testing programme for your business and implement this policy for a fully managed solution. For a consultation with no obligation, or information on any of our workplace testing services, call us on 0333 600 1300, email at, or visit our website at