Alcohol and Other Drugs

Alcohol and drug misuse shows itself in a variety of ways in the workplace, ranging from the residual effects of weekend or after-hour use, such as hangovers and general fatigue, to intoxication at work due to consumption during working hours. Workers impaired by alcohol or other drugs put themselves and others at increased risk of harm.

Employed people have a higher rate of problem drinking than the general population. It's estimated that around 20% of adult full-time workers are problem drinkers, compared to around 15% of the adult population.

The approximate price New Zealand businesses paid for alcohol-related lost productivity is estimated at around $500 million each year. Alcohol and drug use is complex with a variety of influencing factors that go beyond just a person’s individual choice. There are many things organisations can do to support staff with alcohol and drug use.

See the following sections for examples of how to address alcohol and other drugs using a multi-level approach.