Substance misuse ‘a headache for firms’

  • Post category:News

Irish businesses are losing millions of euro each year through workplace accidents caused by drugs and alcohol misuse, according to one of Ireland’s leading drug abuse experts.

Director of the Aisling Group, Marie Byrne, says that many accidents, claims and shoddy workmanship arise from employees or management who are suffering the after-effects of taking illegal drugs or abusing alcohol.

Loss of productivity from staff either too ’hungover’ to work properly or those who take sick-leave because of their dependency also hike up costs to their employers, she claims.

Ms Byrne, who is based in Co Meath, added that other staff often feel “obliged” to cover for their colleagues which can in the long term lead to resentment and other morale problems.

Ms Byrne has recently set up her own consultancy practice to advise companies on how to become a drug-free workplace, a situation that will benefit both employees and the company.

The Navan resident has over 20 years experience on the issue of drugs misuse and rehabilitation and has travelled worldwide on a consultancy basis, often at the invitation of governments abroad.

However, she believes the Irish drinking culture is unique in how it can carry over and have an impact on people’s work lives. “Ireland has the highest rate of drug and alcohol use in Europe, so it’s not possible for firms to avoid being affected and they are more likely to lose money because of this problem.”