The National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) as government’s lead agency for drug prevention, regularly conducts workplace drug education interventions and training for workers from both the public and private sectors. Feedback received from workers and employers over time suggested the need for more comprehensive, long-term approaches to address the prevention, reduction and management of issues related to workplace drug use and its impact on work performance, health and wellness.
Data cited from International Standards on Drug Use Prevention 2018 – a publication of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), highlight the fact that evidence-based workplace prevention programmes are amongst those strategies that have proven effective in preventing substance use and promoting health. Trend data cited from the Report on Drug Use in the Americas 2019 also highlights that “drug use has historically been seen as a ‘male phenomenon’, but recent data shows that females in some countries are now using certain drugs at either the same, or at higher rates, than males… and cannabis use in the general population is increasing in most countries.” Alcohol use mainly accounts for the majority of the two hundred million (200,000,000) people worldwide who recently consumed drugs. Data and anecdotal evidence collected from authorities within the local labour, health and transport sectors, reveal that alcohol and marijuana continue to be the substances causing the majority of workplace drug-related problems.
Toward this end, the NCSA Workplace Programme was conceptualized with aim of increasing workers’ knowledge on how to prevent, reduce and manage drug use and drug–related activity in the workplace. It is in keeping with this philosophy that the NCSA Workplace Programme was conceptualized in an effort to prevent, reduce and manage workplace drug-related problems. The programme also embraces the vision of the current Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, “to build people and a workforce that is empowered, skilled, employable and able to make a meaningful contribution to the successful and sustainable development of this country.”
The NCSA Workplace Programme seeks to assist workers by providing:
- universal and select drug prevention education
- information on drug intervention strategies
- methods to access drug counseling
- social support services
- knowledge of healthy lifestyle practices
- employers and strategies to improve work performance, health and wellness