Nine things to teach your employees regarding your Drug & Alcohol Management Program (DAMP)

Recently in the blog we discussed why education & awareness training is essential for a successful Drug and Alcohol Management Program (DAMP). Following up from this, today we are covering some things that should be covered in such training.

1What is a drug and alcohol management program (DAMP)?

2Why is there a need for implementation of a DAMP? The key things are workplace health and safety, legislation, client requirements and competitive advantage.

3How will the DAMP change your workplace? Fitness for work has always been an expectation. Your new DAMP will simply clarify expectations and set clearer boundaries.

4What are the health implications of misuse of AOD? For example, negative effects on the body’s vital organs, a large array of health conditions etc.

5What are safety implications of misuse of AOD? For example, persons affected may suffer from poor spatial perception, poor reaction time, poor judgment and concentration causing significant risk in your workplace.

6How, and why it is important, to manage use of medications in the workplace? Drugs do not have to be illegal to be dangerous!

7How does the testing program work and what are the detection timeframes for alcohol and illicit drugs? By providing guidelines for this your employees can better ensure they attend their workplace “fit for work”.

8How do your employees access Employee Assistance Programs if required? Explain the services available and the confidentiality guarantees that go with them.

9Fitness for work does not equate to policing your employees’ lifestyles. Your employees can present fit for work every day, free from the effects of AOD, without placing unreasonable demands on their personal lifestyle habits.

An Example:

“Jodie” worked as a housekeeper on a large passenger ferry.

She had been suffering back pain and became accustomed to using large quantities of pain killers so she could continue working.

Jodie did not realise the addictive nature of her medication, or many of its side effects until attending an AOD education / awareness presentation arranged by her employer.

This knowledge prompted Jodie to seek further assistance. She initially spoke with her GP who following testing advised her if she continued using this medication in the quantity she was she would do irreparable damage to vital organs. “Jodie” was referred to a physiotherapist, who provided a therapy program. A short time later she was able to overcome her injury and continue to work pain free – without the medication.

For a successful DAMP, we must educate people effectively, to create a healthy and safe culture. Armed with the right knowledge, your employees and your workplace will reap the benefits.

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