Issues Affecting The Workplace

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Issues Affecting the Workplace

Issues Affecting the Workplace


Alcohol and drug use in the workplace is considered one of the most critical problems facing business and industry today. It is not surprising that substance use problems are a leading cause of performance behavior or impairment on the job. Alcohol and other drug use can impact the workplace in many ways. While many employers frequently turn a blind eye to alcohol and drug misuse, the widespread problem hinders productivity, damages profits, costs jobs and could be affecting the nation's health in ways yet to be fully identified.

In this respect, it should be dealt with in the same way as other issues and be seen as a health and social problem. Men and women who are dependent on heroin, cocaine and liquor, who must have these potent drugs to get through the day- are clearly substance abusers. Abuse may involve regular marijuana use, heavy drinking, weekend binges, casual consumption of tranquilizers, or misuse of other prescription drugs. It includes any use of drugs or alcohol that threatens physical or mental health, inhibits responsible personal relationships, or diminishes the ability to meet family, social, or vocational obligations.

And now the growing problem of alcohol and drug abuse and its impact on the workplace provides a related area of concern. Human Resource professionals now show an apprehension towards this matter and how these problems affect employers. The problems of these substance abusers become the human resource problems. They increase risk of accident, lower productivity, raise insurance costs, and reduce profits. With that, the organization has a responsibility to its employees and customers to ensure that the risks are minimized.

Issues And Assumptions

Drug and alcohol abuse is by no means a new problem. At various times throughout history there have been movements, prohibition, the banning, the various campaigns against drug producers and traffickers, and the increasingly vigorous measures currently being taken against drinking and driving.

Over the recent years, one important development, actively supported by the whole world, the government, has been the growing realization that drug and alcohol abuse is an important workplace issue. The issue of drug and alcohol abuse at the workplace has traditionally been met by a dismissive attitude and the reflex of trying to sweep the problem under the carpet, based more on moral precepts than a concern for the health issues involved. Yet, drug and alcohol abuse is not a problem which can be isolated from the workplace. It is now coming to be much widely, although not by means universally understood that substance abuse is harmful to both organization and workers, and therefore prejudicial to national and international competitiveness(Kauffmann, 1995).

Another very important reason why the issue of drug and alcohol abuse cannot be isolated from the workplace is that so many problem drinkers and drug takers work. The workforce is typically a reflection of the community in which the workers live. In as much as alcohol and drug abuse are present in the community, it is highly likely that the ...
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