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Model Substance Abuse Policy

July 6, 1999
Related Topics: Substance Abuse, Featured Article
Use this substance-abuse policy as a starting point in crafting a policy for your organization.

Definitions as used in this policy:

  1. "Substance" means alcohol or drugs.
  2. "Alcohol" means ethyl alcohol or ethanol.
  3. "Drugs" means any substance taken into the body, other than alcohol, which may impair one's mental faculties and/or physical performance.
  4. "Employee" means all persons who work full time, part time, or under contract for a company, including management staff.

One of the greatest problems facing our society today is the abuse of drugs and alcohol. The nationwide impact of substance abuse in the workplace is now estimated to exceed $30 billion annually. This staggering amount only measures lost productivity and quality; it does not put a dollar value on personal pain and suffering.

The management of our company is vitally concerned about the well-being of its employees, our most valuable asset. We are equally concerned that our company's hard-earned reputation and positive image not be compromised in any way.

Alcohol and drug abuse have an adverse effect on job performance, create dangerous situations, and serve to undermine our customers' and the community's confidence in our company.

Our company cannot and will not condone drug or alcohol abuse on the part of its employees, nor will it condone any employee behavior on or off the job that may serve to damage the company's reputation.

Our policy concerning drug and alcohol use and abuse is as follows:

  1. The company will not hire anyone who is known to currently abuse substances.
  2. The company will educate and inform its employees about the health consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.
  3. Employees must report to work in a fit condition to perform their duties. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not acceptable.
  4. Any employee on company business, on or off company premises, is prohibited from purchasing, transferring, using or possessing illicit drugs or using alcohol or prescription drugs in any way that is illegal.
  5. Employees will not be terminated for voluntarily seeking assistance for a substance abuse problem; however, continued performance, attendance or behavioral problems may result in loss of a job.
  6. Employees on physician-prescribed medication must notify a designated company official if there's likelihood that such medication could affect job performance and safety.
  7. Employees engaged in off-the-job drug or alcohol involvement may be considered to be in violation of the company substance abuse policy.
  8. Where available evidence warrants, the company will bring matters of illegal drug or alcohol use to the attention of appropriate law enforcement authorities.

SOURCE: International Association of Chiefs of Police, Alexandria, VA.

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