RTS: The Dangers of Psychoactive Substances
Psychoactive substances, formerly known as legal highs, are substances which produce the same or similar effects as many illegal drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine. With many psychoactive substances it is extremely difficult to know their potency and therefore how they will affect the user.
They are divided into four main groups:
Sedatives – Cause reduced concentration and slowing of reactions, leading user to feel physically unsteady and lethargic.
Hallucinogenic – These substances cause psychedelic reactions which can lead the user to act erratically, putting their own safety at risk.
Stimulants – Substance temporarily causes increase in alertness and energy, while also putting a strain on the nervous system.
Synthetic Cannabinoids – Large doses can lead to life-threatening intoxication. Also effects the central nervous system causing seizures, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate and increased body temperature.
Last month two men were arrested and jailed for four and a half years for selling psychoactive substances. The offences were committed in Scotland and eight of the men’s customers needed hospital treatment after taking the substances.
Free samples and loyalty cards were used by the men selling the psychoactive substances and two users were left in comas after taking a substance known as Psyclone. Court was told that the shops took in as much as £2,500 in sales every day.
The sister of a man who died from taking psychoactive substances said it changed her brother “mentally and physically.” BBC Scotland was told that he started dabbling with psychoactive substances because he believed they were legal. “Some of them were a substitute of heroin, others to mimic the effects of cannabis. He became very withdrawn with the family and just wanted to stay away.”
Randox Testing Services
At Randox Testing Services we reacted to the issues caused by psychoactive substances by releasing the world’s first Synthetic Cannabinoids (JWH/AM) and ‘Bath Salt’s’ (MPDV) tests in 2012. This enables companies to test for popular types of psychoactive substances and showed that it was possible to detect these substances.
However as new psychoactive substances emerged new tests also had to be created and next generation Synthetic Cannabinoids tests (UR144 and JWH250) were released in 2013. These tests represented a milestone in the fight against the highly dangerous psychoactive substances and provided a way for laboratories and companies to stay on top of the developing drug trends.
Psychoactive Substances we currently screen for;
Today, in the endless pursuit of creating innovative tests for new and emerging psychoactive substances, our expertise sets us apart from the rest of the industry. We will continue to develop our test menus and grow our range of tests.
For more information contact us today at email@example.com.
What is a workplace substance misuse policy?
Many organisations implement a policy that outlines the expectations they have concerning the misuse of drugs and/or alcohol and how this can affect performance and safety in the workplace. This can often be referred to as a substance misuse policy.
Employers hold the responsibility to ensure employees are fully aware of the company’s rules, regulations, testing and disciplinary procedures. Fundamentally, this is to guarantee complete workplace safety. The policy itself holds a vital importance providing employees with the knowledge of the standards expected of them in the workplace.
To ensure transparency of information, it is imperative that the policy is written in a clear, comprehensive manner. This should allow them to understand without confusion or misinterpretation the implications the organisation has in place for users who misuse substances.
Why is this policy so important for businesses to implement?
Alcohol and / or drug use increases the chances of problems occurring in the workplace. For example, studies have found that employees with alcohol problems are 2.7 times more likely to have an accident whilst at work.
Some of the main issues that associated with substance misuse in the workplace are:
- Absenteeism – It’s estimated that there are 17 million lost days of work per year due to substance misuse.
- Low productivity levels – Employees may lose focus in different tasks and become de-motivated.
- Inappropriate behaviour – Some cases of substance abuse may lead to inappropriate actions or in extreme cases crime
Evidence suggests that many people who suffer from alcohol and drug abuse are in employment. Studies show that 25% of registered drug addicts are in full-time employment and that 3.3% of all adults in England and Wales aged 16 – 59 classified as frequent users.
Significant issues such as these provide growing concerns for employers to put in place a workplace substance misuse policy to guarantee the welfare of all stakeholders. Under the Health & Safety Act 1974, employers have a duty to ensure the safety of their employees is met to all principles. Introducing an effective workplace policy is a key part in maintaining these standards.
The importance of a workplace policy for drugs and alcohol can benefit employers by:
- Building relationships with employees by showing them there is support available.
- Policies can raise awareness of issues in the business and can encourage staff members to take action if they feel they have a problem.
- Its importance can reduce the number of sick employees, it can also increase staff turnover & productivity levels.
- Employers who implement a workplace policy can also see a rise in efficiency, improved staff relationship, communication and improved corporate image and in some cases customer relations.
What we at Randox Testing Services can do:
Randox Testing Services is a market leader in the drug and alcohol testing industry. Our expertise is relied upon by safety-critical companies all over the world. We provide complete drug and alcohol testing solutions to a range of blue chip companies across multiple industries including aviation, transport, construction, maritime, retail and occupational health to name a few.
Our expert consultancy service allows employers to create an effective drug and alcohol misuse policy. We offer comprehensive advice, guidance and support in composing an effective policy and explaining best procedures and testing methods to use. We also provide assistance to employers with an existing substance misuse policy, helping to modify existing documents to ensure they are legally viable and can withstand challenge in court.
To ensure clear communication of any policy changes, our experts can come to your workplace and present the policy to your staff. By having a third party explain the policy employers can ensure all the benefits are communicated effectively. This way staff do not feel like they are being victimised or persecuted, but know their employer is looking after their workplace wellbeing.
Combining our consultancy service with our drug and alcohol testing service and / or point of care products, employers can find a complete testing solution from Randox Testing Services.
About Randox Testing Services
At Randox Testing Services we offer complete drug and alcohol testing solutions to a wide range of industries across the globe. We work with companies to help create and implement effective workplace testing policies that suit their needs and budget.
To support our customers our additional services include training and education courses as well as policy reviews and consultancy. Our experts are at hand to discuss any testing requirements you may have. To get in touch email firstname.lastname@example.org today.