‘Health is your business’


Drug abuse - effects and consequences at work

Substance or drug abuse is detrimental to a person's physical, and mental health. Inappropriate use of drugs may lead to dependence or addiction. There are well-documented links between drug use and impaired cognition, perception, and motor skills, both at the acute and chronic levels.


It is worth noting that over-the-counter drugs and solvents are often misused, and can be as problematic as illegal drugs in the effects that they have on the individual and the impact that it can have on their behaviour.

Drug abuse - why employers should act

The workplace risks are similar to those listed for alcohol. However, there are additional implications for employers in relation to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Employers must ensure a safe working environment, and therefore are required to manage potential risks linked to the inappropriate use of drugs. These include the health and safety case, the legislative case and the business case.

How employers can help

  • Publicise information about alcohol and substances misuse
  • Publicise availability of advice, help and how to access it
  • Consider developing or reviewing your workplace policy

Links for drug prevention and remediation