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Managers need drug and alcohol training to know how to identify drug and alcohol related issues. But how do you know?

You can identify drug and alcohol related issues from personal behaviour signs and symptoms. You can also learn to recognise issues from workplace activity patterns and off-site behaviour indicators.

Drug and alcohol awareness – how do you identify drug and alcohol related issues?

Personal behaviour

Drugs work depending on how they are taken, where they are taken, and how many are taken. All drugs can have side effects, even legal drugs. For example, drunk people have taken too much alcohol. The alcohol has affected their ability to make choices, to keep their voices down, to think before they speak, and to walk properly. The intoxicated person may also want to have a fight, or to argue with other people.

Some of the side effects of drugs are useful, and some of them are not so useful. For example, if you drink coffee every day, you might notice that when you drink a cup of coffee in the morning, the headache you had when you woke up has stopped. You might also notice that your heart is beating a bit faster, your hands are shaking a little, and you feel a little happier. These effects are all because of the drug in coffee called ‘caffeine’.

Drugs and alcohol can affect different people in different ways. This means that there is no real way to say what levels of drugs or alcohol are safe, unless you are a doctor prescribing drugs as medication. This means that even using legal drugs, like alcohol, can cause people harm.

Some drugs make people happy, some make them sad. Some drugs make people feel scared or very angry. Some people get violent, some people get very calm. Some drugs make it harder for people to make choices.

Drugs affect the mind depending on how much of the drug has been taken, where it was taken, when it was taken and how it was taken. Some drugs make people see things that are not there.

Drugs can have all sorts of effects on the body. For example, headache tablets help stop the production of some chemicals in the brain that have made the headache. Some drugs make people breathe more slowly or more quickly, or make their hearts beat faster or slower.

Alcohol and drug awareness programs are available online for both managers and employees.

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