As with alcohol consumption, drug and other substance (e.g. solvent) abuse can cost employers significantly through absenteeism, reduced productivity and potential risks to safety. Employers should adopt a substance abuse policy, which should be clear in the disciplinary rules in the Employee Handbook. There is clearly a difference between using over the counter drugs - which may nonetheless impede the performance of say, someone operating machinery - and the abuse of illegal substances. For information about our Employee Handbook advice service, please visit our business service page.