Keys to an Effective Drug & Alcohol Policy

Developing an effective drug and alcohol policy should be an integral part of every company’s safety plans and procedures. This policy should provide a framework for how employees and management handle drug and alcohol usage in the workplace. Additionally, a practical approach to testing can limit a company’s risk while contributing and aligning to the overall safety goals of the company.


A successful and effective policy clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of the employees and managers. Before crafting your policy, decide what to allow and what should be regulated. For instance, if your company is near a bar or restaurant, clearly defining what behavior is acceptable during a work “happy hour” can help employees understand their guidelines. Having these clear lines also helps other employees know when specific drinking or drug behavior is against the guidelines.

Dedicate a point of contact for your company for policy violations and emergencies. This point of contact typically works in a Human Resources role or has other duties similar to managing employees. Once this role is assigned, add the contact information to the Drug and Alcohol Policy documents.

When your rules and regulations addressing drug and alcohol use at work are final, post them somewhere highly trafficked and visible. Posting this framework publicly limits your company’s risk when distributing an updated policy and can be a place of information if an employee is curious about certain rules.


As more states legalize medical marijuana and recreational drug use, it’s becoming difficult for smaller companies to stay compliant to changing regulations. Currently, 36 states have legalized medicinal marijuana, and 16 of those states allow for legal recreational usage. These new laws can make developing an encompassing policy difficult while staying compliant with medical regulations.

One unique workplace behavior since the pandemic has been an increase in remote work and employees possibly living states away from your company’s headquarters. In order to stay compliant with unique laws in each state, your policy may have to vary by state or establish clear regulations that abide by each state’s particular laws. This can end up being a headache for smaller teams that may have a few employees across state lines.


Staying compliant with changing regulations doesn’t have to be a pain. At ARCpoint Labs, we have partnered with companies for years as their industry expert for policy development and consultation. Additionally, our nationwide network of lab facilities is ready to help your company collect and test samples whenever necessary. Find your nearest ARCpoint Labs location and contact us today to learn how you can partner with the experts.

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