Workplace policies on smoking, drugs and alcohol

Stress and drugs and alcohol misuse


Having procedures in place to help employees deal with stress is an important part of responding to problems with drug and alcohol misuse.

Cause or contributing factor

Stress can be a cause or contributing factor in drugs or alcohol misuse. For example, a person under a lot of stress at work might begin to drink more alcohol to help ease the pressure.

Stress can have a very negative impact on your business' performance and morale. The benefits of managing stress effectively include:

  • reducing time off for employees with stress-related illnesses
  • minimising stress-related drug and alcohol misuse problems
  • improving morale and productivity
  • fulfilling your legal responsibility for employee welfare

Prevention better than cure

However, it is important to note that prevention is better than cure. Good management can reduce work-related stress. For example, setting realistic targets and providing employees with training and opportunities for promotion can help to boost employee morale.

But even with good management, you can't remove stress altogether. It's important that you learn to spot the symptoms and encourage employees to raise issues that are bothering them. Remember that stress doesn't just affect employees - watch for your own levels of stress. See how to deal with stress.