More than 50% of Irish drinkers admit consuming alcohol in a harmful manner. As our workplaces are a reflection of wider society, we know many employees will experience problems because of their or someone else’s alcohol and other drugs misuse.  With over 2 million people employed in Ireland, the impact on the health, safety, and wellbeing can be significant.

Alcohol and other drug use among employees and their family members can be an expensive problem for businesses and organisations of any size, with issues ranging from:

  • lost productivity,
  • absenteeism,
  • presenteeism
  • working while under the influence,
  • unexplained absences,
  • injuries and critical incidents,
  • theft,
  • conflict,
  • increased health care costs,
  • legal liabilities and litigation


Having a clear policy on alcohol and drugs in the workplace ensures a company complies with appropriate legislation, minimises the health and safety risks associated with being under the influence of alcohol or drugs at work, and supports employees experiencing problems with alcohol or drugs.

Work can be an important and effective environment to address Alcohol and other Drug issues by introducing or promoting Workplace Health and Wellbeing programmes.  Many individuals and families endure significant difficulties closely associated with problematic alcohol and other drug use, and all too frequently the consequences of these problems spill over into the workplace.

Under Section 13 of the Safety Health & Welfare at Work Act, 2005, “an employee shall, while at work, ensure that they are not under the influence of an intoxicant to the extent that they may endanger their own safety or the safety of others.” The act does not specifically refer to unlawful drugs and thus it is reasonable to assume it includes misuse of prescription and over the counter medications as well.

Since 2005, alcoholism has been recognised as a disability under employment equality legislation. Employers are required to offer ‘reasonable accommodation’ to employees who have alcohol addiction.  The Chief Medical Officer advises that prevention of an alcohol problem is more effective than dealing with the problem once it become obvious. However, people who misuse alcohol and other drugs can rehabilitate their lifestyle with help and expert advice.


The Alcohol Forum specialises in Workplace Training for Alcohol and Other Drug use.  Our team of expert trainers come with years of corporate management and clinical specialist experience.  The range of training options below are designed to help you and your staff respond effectively to the challenges alcohol and other drug use can present in the workplace.

Training & Workshops

Through our Alcohol and other Drugs Workplace Programme employers have a real opportunity to influence change, and to proactively deal with any presenting substance related issues in a supportive and constructive way.

Alcohol and Other Drugs in the Workplace
for Managers, Supervisors & Key Staff (1 day)

Workplace Alcohol & Other Drug Awareness Training Workshop (3 hours)
for small and medium businesses

Online Workplace Alcohol and other Drug Awareness training
with digital certificate for all employees (Coming soon)

  • Guidance on the development and implementation of a Workplace Alcohol and other Drugs Policy
  • Compliance with the Safety Health & Welfare at Work Act, 2005,2010
  • Techniques to discuss Alcohol and other Drugs in the Workplace
  • How to deal with any identified work performance issues
  • Where to get further support

Would you like more information

Get in touch with us…