Substance abuse policy

Substance abuse policy

A substance abuse 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.

Implementing a substance abuse policy can have a positive impact on the workplace and can help maintain the reputation and integrity of the business. It can also save companies money, due to 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 substance abuse policy ensures your business is operating lawfully.

“The importance of having a robust substance abuse policy cannot be emphasised enough”, says David Thomas of AlphaBiolabs. “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.”

Clear and concise substance abuse policy

It is important that your substance abuse policy is comprehensive, but also clear and concise. Salient points should be covered in detail but remember that only an understandable document will be of any use. You need all of your workforce to read and understand this policy document to be aware of its implications. It needs to outline the objective of the policy, specify who it applies to and detail which substances it covers.

The document will also 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 a company has a zero-tolerance policy, a positive drug and/or alcohol test could be seen as gross misconduct resulting in immediate dismissal or suspension while there is an investigation.

The policy will encourage any employee with an addiction or substance dependency problem to inform their Line Manager in confidence. Disciplinary action may be suspended whilst appropriate treatment and/or rehabilitation is sought. 

AlphaBiolabs can help with your substance abuse policy

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 substance abuse policy is independent and impartial. We can tailor your policy to your needs and provide advice and solutions to any issues or limitations present. For a consultation with no obligation, or information on any of our workplace testing services, call us on 0333 600 1300 or email at