Drugs of Abuse

Alcohol
There is a well-recognised correlation between blood alcohol concentration and impairment of motor co-ordination skills.  In the acute stages of intoxication, the decrease in motor skills is of greatest concern since the individual may inflict harm on themselves or others.  Chronic alcohol abuse is a very significant cause of ill health in the community and loss of productive work time.
 
Testing for alcohol is best done on site using a breathalyser or similar instrument.  These devices are robust, portable and relatively inexpensive, however they require regular calibration and should only be operated by appropriately trained staff.
 
Other drugs of abuse
Clear evidence exists that mental perception and motor co-ordination skills can be adversely affected when under the influence of drugs of abuse such as amphetamines, opiates, benzodiazepines, cocaine and cannabis.
 
Again, the acutely affected individual may be a hazard both to themselves and to others in the workplace.  Chronic abuse of these substances can also pose health problems and lead to decreased productivity.  However, on most occasions, these drugs are used intermittently and therefore behavioural changes will become more obvious in affected individuals.
Page last updated: 26 Oct 2015