Employer’s Guide to Drug Abuse in Ireland

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The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) in Ireland published The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, which covers how employers and employees should respond if someone is intoxicated due to illegal or legal drugs, or alcohol at work.

It states that it is the employer’s duty, “to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of all employees. This includes managing and conducting work activities to prevent improper conduct or behaviour likely to put employees at risk.”

It is the employee’s duty to ensure that they are not intoxicated at work. This is particularly true when their intoxication could result in damage to their own, or any other’s health, safety or wellbeing.

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If an employer notices that an employee seems ‘under the weather’, and suspects that it is due to intoxication from drugs or alcohol, they can use their discretion when deciding how to respond. If the employee is undertaking a safety critical job, such as operating machinery, then it is crucial that they are sent home.

In cases where they are not carrying out a safety critical job, the employer still has a duty of care to both them and other employees, meaning that they must make a risk assessment of the employee’s behaviour and judge how best to respond to the situation.

As an employee, if you notice someone clearly intoxicated at work, then it is your responsibility to report this behaviour to a superior.

The Importance of Clear Policy

The HSE Ireland encourages workplaces to devise policies which help to promote health and wellbeing among employees. An example could be setting up an Employee Assistance Programme. The HSE UK advises that every company come up with a ‘policy on drug misuse’ as part of their Health and Safety Policy. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation’s Global Action plan recommends that every employee should be able to access to a health consultation service at work.

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Fortunately experienced help is only a phone call away. At Smarmore Castle, we offer:

  • Assessment of your employee’s addiction problems,
  • Advice for companies, head management, and HR staff on how to manage the situation effectively,
  • Help organising an intervention,
  • Intensive, inpatient treatment at our residential rehab facility, near Dublin.

For more information about how to help an employee suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, please call our admissions team.

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  • How to Access Rehab With Health Insurance

    For those experiencing existing mental health conditions in Ireland, there are private medical insurers who can help you cover treatment. As addiction experts, we know that receiving the appropriate care and support when you have a mental health disorder is pivotal to attaining long-lasting recovery. Below, we will go through the various health insurance options to help you understand your options when it comes to seeking private residential care for substance abuse. Please note that there is no guarantee that you can be covered for all addiction problems as policies are always assessed on a case-by-case basis. Find Out More

  • My Loved One Doesn’t Want Help, What Do I Do?

    You can’t force someone to go to rehab. A person must be ready to commit to treatment if they want to get the most out of the programme. However, there are ways in which you can encourage someone to enter rehab, one of these ways is via an intervention with a trained interventionist, who facilitates an honest discussion between family members and the individual. This is something Smarmore Castle can arrange – contact us today.

  • Which Drugs Does Smarmore Castle Detox From?

    We offer detox from any drug, whether they are illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ketamine; or prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines or zopiclone, oxycodone, zolpidem, klonopin, methadone, cannabis; and legal drugs such as alcohol.

  • How Long Is the Treatment Programme?

    Our treatment programme starts at 4 weeks and is flexible in length, giving you the opportunity to extend for a longer period if you need it.

  • Do You Treat Dual Diagnosis?

    Yes. All patients are reviewed by a consultant psychiatrist in the first week and we can diagnose and provide treatment for a number of co-occurring mental health conditions.

  • Do I Need to Be Abstinent Before Admission?

    Our medically managed detoxification with 24/7 medical cover means that we can perform complete and complex detoxes at Smarmore Castle. You don’t need to be abstinent before arrival.

  • How Do I Get To Rehab Safely?

    Smarmore Castle is one hour north of Dublin international airport, please speak to our advisors if you require collection from an airport.

    We can also arrange a ‘sober transport’ service with a trusted driver, from anywhere in Ireland or Northern Ireland, at an additional cost.

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