Substance misuse is a growing issue within the workplace. The assumption that problematic drug and alcohol users are unemployed and/or homeless, is a long way from the truth. Anyone can be affected.
Generis is a new and unique service, launched by The Alcohol and Drug Service (ADS). It aims to help employers reduce the impact of substance misuse on their business, whilst at the same time supporting their workforce.
Advising employers in safety-critical industries and a variety of other businesses, Generis is led by Laura Jarvis who is a Chartered Manager, specialising in drug and alcohol addiction for over 15 years. Laura says:
“Our unique service is based on more than 30 years’ experience. It gives managers and supervisors a set of tools to spot the signs of drug and alcohol misuse. Our interventions provide individuals with the help needed, to protect the business, other employees and minimise disruption to operations.”
“If a member of staff is using drugs or alcohol they are likely to display poor performance and can cause accidents as a result of being impaired. Generis aims to protect a business by spotting early warning signs and preventing the situation from escalating.”
“The common way of dealing with substance abuse is random testing. However, there are many issues with this approach. If you only ever use testing, you will only ever be ‘catching’ people – usually at the point at which the issue is causing problems for the employee or the company. Plus, you can only detect what you test for. In today’s climate, individuals are using anything from alcohol and cannabis to Methylphenidate (Ritalin) – it’s a minefield, to say the least. Therefore, testing alone is not reliable.”
“Employers are often unaware of what they can do to help staff in this situation and if these employees are dismissed, the company loses a team member, their investment in training and can also cause a downturn in productivity.”
“In operation since 1984, ADS has received a vast number of people into the service who’ve lost their jobs and in some cases, their home and family, as a result of taking risks with drugs and alcohol in the workplace.”
“Before launching, we ran an initial pilot and our client held an amnesty for employees to come forward without consequence. Many staff came forward and were given appropriate treatments to support recovery. The business retained the employees and created a more positive culture as a result.”
“I am pleased to say that since the pilot, Generis has generated business from around the UK. Including ports and companies in London and Manchester. Feedback from these clients confirms that our service is truly unique – providing much more than testing procedures. Instead, with adequate training, the workforce is better equipped and prepared to mitigate safety issues.”
Chief Executive of ADS, Tim Young says:
“There is a great deal of expertise within ADS and our research showed that many organisations value what that expertise provides.”
“Laura has worked in a variety of settings from frontline case management to managing a team of specialists who deliver effective specialist drug and alcohol services. Working in partnership with the NHS and local authorities, our service helps people along their recovery journey to live a healthy and fulfilling life.”
“We are well placed to provide strategies that work for both employer and employee alike and now that Generis has launched, we are talking to HR Directors and Managing Directors who are keen to hear about our evidence-based approach to build a culture of challenge and support. This helps supervisors to recognise the issues in front of them and gives them the confidence to know what to do next.”