Abuse in Our Work Place

Workplace abuse of Methamphetamine (or ‘P’) is a serious issue.

Barman workingIt has been linked to increases in accidents and injuries which is a risk that must be acknowledged and managed by the employer. Drugs are specified as a hazard in the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 so employers now have a legal responsibility to take all possible steps to eliminate the risks they present.

Many employees can be exposed to risk from methamphetamine through both internal and external factors. It could be through associates, workmates or a member of the public using Meth, or by discovering a Meth Lab.

How do they know what to look for or what to do to keep themselves safe?

A fact which not many employers or workers are commonly made aware of is that 77% of drug users are employed and 11% of the workforce uses illegal drugs.

Studies have shown that users of methamphetamine and other drugs are:

  • 30% less productive
  • Absent 2 or 3 times more often than other employees
  • 3.6 times more likely to injure themselves or others in the workplace
  • 5 times more likely to be injured off the job, thereby affecting their attendance and performance at work
  • Likely to incur up to 3 times higher medical costs than non-drug using employees

A Massey University research study in 2004 of frequent methamphetamine users (monthly or more often) carried out in NZ over a six month period found that:

  • 62% were in paid employment
  • 43% earned money from illegal activities
  • Illegal income ranged between $1000 - $150,000, an average of $24,000
  • 34% had either considered or attempted suicide
  • 65% binged for more than 48 hours on average fortnightly
  • 53% rated level of harm to work, or work opportunities as very, or extremely harmful

While methamphetamine makes the user feel alert and energetic in the early stages, they quickly experience a downward spiral. Their need for ever increasing amounts of the drug sometimes gives rise to extraordinary reactions.

Methcon is actively working to give employers and staff members much needed education through training programmes, and our MethCheck process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if your business would like to provide better drug education support for its management and employees.