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A Drug-Free Workplace

Background information

As both a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) and federal contractor, NTI is mandated to maintain a drug-free workplace. Even as a home-based employee, this still applies to you. Our failure to maintain a drug-free workplace could result in the loss of our federal contracts. This could cost us the opportunity to receive other federal contracts for up to five years. In turn, this could mean the loss of many jobs for individuals with disabilities.

Drug and alcohol use in the workplace is not only illegal, but also very dangerous. The use of these substances can:

  • make you feel like you can take on more than you can handle
  • make you careless and forgetful
  • cause you to lose sense of your time, distance and space
  • cause lateness and absenteeism

The use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace not only affects your productivity and safety, but also your co-workers.

At this time, NTI does pre-screening drug testing per Client request.

Both you and NTI have to take steps to keep drugs out of our workplace. As your employer, NTI provides you with the drug-free workplace policy stating you cannot make, distribute, sell, possess, or use any sort of illegal drug in the workplace.

You can find a copy of this policy on our website here

This policy states the penalties for employees who violate our drug-free workplace policy.

We also must provide you with reasons why drug use in the workplace is dangerous and information on drug-counseling, rehabilitation, and other assistance programs that are available to you if you have a drug or alcohol problem. We also must notify the federal agencies providing our contracts within 30 days of any convictions of any employee working on our federal contracts AND take disciplinary action, which can include firing or offer the employee help in overcoming the drug or alcohol addiction.

As the employee, you must notify NTI of a conviction (including a plea of "no contest") of a criminal drug violation in the workplace within 5 days of the conviction. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action taken against you, including possible termination. If NTI offers you help instead of disciplinary action, you must complete the program in a manner satisfactory to NTI or risk being terminated.

Signs you could have a drug problem

You can help NTI recognize a drug problem by being aware of some of the signs of addiction that could go on in the work place:

  • Do you over react to criticism.
  • Do you complain of a lot of illnesses?
  • Have you become less dependable than you used to be?
  • Do you avoid your fellow employees?
  • Has your temper and manners become more aggressive than it used to be?
  • Do you find yourself becoming more and more physically deteriorated?
  • Are you missing more work than you used to?
  • Have you started using drugs or alcohol before or during work?

These are just some of the signs that could show you have a drug or alcohol problem. If you feel you do have a drug or alcohol problem, please contact NTI Human Resources to discuss your situation confidentially with one of our Human Resources representatives. As stated earlier, we will provide you with some resources that can help you with the drug or alcohol problem. We are here to help, but you have to ask!

Illegal Drugs

The use of or being under the infulence of any illegal drug while in the workplace is strictly forbidden. This includes , but is not limited to:

  1. Marijuana: One of the more frequently used illegal drugs in the workplace. Marijuana can slow your reflexes and reaction time, cause your coordination to be off, affect memory, reduce your ability to concentrate, and give you a bad perception of time and space. The effects of Marijuana can lower your productivity and lead to poor decision making.
  2. Cocaine: Cocaine is often used to get an energy boost. Smoking cocaine (also known as crack-cocaine) can give you a brief but very intense high. Cocaine can cause poor judgment, inability to concentrate, feelings of superior ability, mood swings, sleeplessness, confusion, paranoia, and even a heart attack or stroke. Cocaine use in the workplace increases the potential for accidents and crime.
  3. Heroin: Heroin can be snorted or injected and is used to get a quick rush, then a feeling of complete relaxation. It is VERY addictive. It can cause alertness issues, problems concentrating, obsessing over getting your next "fix," exposure to hepatitis and HIV if needles are shared, and a greater risk of crime in the workplace to support the habit. It can lower your productivity, interfere in your personal relationships, and can lead to serious health conditions like an overdose, coma or death.
  4. Hallucinogens: This category includes LSD/acid, PCP/angel dust, ecstasy, MDMA, Special K, as well as club, designer and rave drugs. They are used to experience hallucinations by distorting the user's vision of reality. They can cause weird or violent behavior, confusion, and memory loss, lack of concentration, nightmares, paranoia, fear, emotional disturbances, mental breakdowns, panic, depression, and even flashbacks. These drugs have the ability to cause irreversible impairments to your physical and mental abilities.

Legal Drugs

Although NTI is not required by law to include legal drugs in our Drug-Free Workplace policy, they still cannot be used in the workplace and we want to make you aware of some of the effects these drugs can have on you:

  1. Alcohol: Alcohol is a sedative. It can make you slow and clumsy both physically and mentally. It is also very addictive. It can cause poor attendance, decrease your productivity; reduce the quality of your work, and reckless, aggressive, and unsafe behavior. It is also important to remember never to drink and drive.
  2. Inhalants: Inhalants are chemicals like glue, paint thinner, nitrous oxide or poppers. People sniff these chemicals to get high. They can cause reduced reaction time, bad coordination, dizziness, reckless or violent behavior, brain damage, and Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome.
  3. Painkillers: These are prescription drugs, like codeine or morphine, which are used for non-medical purposes. It is legal to use painkillers while a medical condition is healing or if prescribed by a doctor for chronic pain, but it is strictly forbidden to sell, buy or distribute pain killers illegally. Painkillers are highly addictive and can cause drowsiness, fatigue and dizziness. Painkiller addiction has also been known to cause users to move to other addictive drugs, like heroine, when the prescription runs out.
  4. Amphetamines/Methamphetamines: These are also known as "uppers," like speed and crank. Many people use them to lose weight or help them stay awake. They are highly addictive. They can cause carelessness, moodiness, paranoia, nervousness, anxiousness, and even cause you to attempt things outside your normal capacity. They also cause a significant loss of brain cells.
  5. Sedative: Also known as barbiturates or "downers," like tranquilizers and sleeping pills. They slow and reduce both your physical and mental functions. Many people also use both "upper" and "downers" to counteract each other.

How To Get Help

NTI is required by law to tell you about help that is available to you for dealing with a drug or alcohol problem. Please contact NTI Human Resources if you feel you have a drug or alcohol problem you need help dealing with. The following websites can also provide you with information and assistance:

For more information on the Drug-Free Workplace Act, you can visit the U.S. Department of Labor's website

Remember that drug and alcohol use on the job is not only dangerous, it's illegal. As an NTI employee, please do your part to keep our workplace drug-free.

 

Information contained in this training came from the following resource: Business and Legal Reports, Inc. Our Drug-Free Workplace: Partners in Prevention . Saybrook , CT. 2006.

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