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Polydrug Use and Implications for the Workplace

DASA: Polydrug Use and Implications for the Workplace

In recent years, Australia has witnessed a growing concern in the area of substance abuse, particularly in the form of polydrug use. This worrying trend, where individuals consume multiple drugs simultaneously or sequentially, has consequences for workplace health and safety.

What is Polydrug Use?

Polydrug use, often referred to as "polydrug abuse," involves the consumption of multiple substances, such as alcohol, prescription medications, illicit drugs, or a combination of these, concurrently or in quick succession. This practice poses a real threat to individuals' physical and mental health, as well as to the safety and productivity of the workplace.

The workplace is not immune to the growing prevalence of polydrug use. Employees from various backgrounds and job roles may engage in polydrug use. A combination of factors, including stress, easy access to various substances, and the normalisation of recreational drug use, contributes to its presence in the workplace.

The Dangers of Polydrug Use

Polydrug use presents various risks in the workplace. Firstly, combining different substances can lead to unpredictable and amplified effects, which can impair an individual's ability to perform their job safely and efficiently. In particular, impaired judgment and compromised coordination caused by polydrug use increases the risk of accidents and injuries.

Moreover, polydrug use can have detrimental consequences for mental health, leading to increased workplace absenteeism and decreased job satisfaction. This, in turn, affects overall workplace morale and productivity.

Addressing the Issue

To tackle the rising issue of polydrug use in the workplace, a multi-pronged approach is necessary. DASA can assist you in this through:

  • Ensuring you have a robust Drug and Alcohol Policy in place.

  • Raising awareness among your workers about the dangers of polydrug use and the potential impact on workplace health and safety.

  • Implementing a drug and alcohol testing program.

In addition, we would recommend your organisation offers an Employee Assistance Programme that provides confidential counselling and support for employees struggling with substance abuse.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how DASA can help you manage the risk of drug and alcohol at your workplace, call us today on 1300 230 231 or send an email to


DASA (Drug and Alcohol Solutions Australia) is proud to be leading the way in workplace drug and alcohol testing services throughout Australia. Whether your need is for workplace drug and workplace alcohol testing, advice on drug and alcohol policy or ideas on how to communicate your workplace expectations, policies and procedures to your staff, DASA can help. We have the experience, technical expertise and people to lead you to the right solution.



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