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Mental Health Event 4 - Managing Drug & Alcohol Issues In The Workplace

The use of alcohol and other drugs can impact on workplaces in many different ways. Mr Martin Jackson, Neuropsychologist, explored the ways individuals and co-workers can be affected by these substances. Mr Jackson provided insight into the more commonly used drugs such as benzodiazepines, marijuana, solvents and methamphetamines and provided details as to their short and long term effects.

During the discussion Mr Jackson spoke about how a drug or alcohol problem isn’t necessarily measured by how much or what type of drugs a person uses, but by how the drug affects the person's life and the lives of those around them. Mr Jackson suggested that it can often be a matter of personal perception (or lack of) and tolerance to the substance. It was further explained that many people cope independently up to a point, however when an individual is less able to cope they can become grumpy or stand-offish, blame others for their mistakes or even create disputes with workmates or customers. It can often be difficult to have a conversation with someone who is affected by drugs or alcohol as they may not be aware of it or may be trying to hide or cover-up the issue. If you are concerned that a co-workers performance is lacking, it helps to document or identify these issues in annual reviews and routine documentation.

The feedback from this session was positively received with comments such as; “Very engaging subject topic and good insight into interaction of drugs and alcohol with the workplace”, “Good use of stories, experiences to explain issues” and “Excellent presentation!”

"Understanding Fitness for Duty/Work for Non-Work Related Medical Conditions" will be presented by Dr Simone Ryan on Tuesday, 22nd November. Please call (03) 9650 2000 or email contactvic@mlcoa.com.au to find out more.

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