The hazards of taking illegal drugs are many. Most have not been approved for use by the FDA as they have limited benefit, and the side effects outweigh the good. Prescription drugs are regulated as they too have side effects. Many drugs will decrease your awareness of your surroundings. This makes you vulnerable to injury as you will not be able to recognize the hazards. You may also cause injury to coworkers due to carelessness. If your medication label reads “do not drive or operate heavy equipment”, you should not be taking that medication before you come to work. You can actually get a DUI for driving while medicated. The worst part is that drugs can be highly addictive, causing misery for the user and their family. Many drug users lose their jobs and commit crimes to pay for their habit.
As a union contractor, Delta works with the unions to keep our workforce drug free. We drug test workers when they are first hired, after accidents or injuries, randomly, and for cause. If a worker tests positive, the medical officer will contact them to determine what prescriptions they are taking. If the prescription is confirmed as legitimate, then no disciplinary action takes place. If the worker does not have a prescription, or if it is an illegal drug, then we must implement the disciplinary program agreed with the union. At this point, a worker is given options of how to move forward, including a straight suspension (a minimum of two weeks) or entry into a drug treatment program. Additional penalties are involved if the worker tests positive again.
If a worker voluntarily enters a drug treatment program, they will not be disciplined, but they must remain clean to stay employed. We encourage anyone who is using drugs to seek out help, contact the safety department or your union representative.
Below are some recommendations to help keep you in compliance with the drug free policy.
- Don’t take medications meant for others, even family members, and don’t share yours
- Don’t mix alcohol or other substances with your medications
- Don’t take more or less than the prescribed amount of a drug
- Don’t stop taking a medication suddenly, without doctor approval, even if you feel better
- Don’t transfer drugs from their original bottle to another
- Don’t put two different types of pills in the same bottle
Also be aware that taking nutritional supplements can make you sick and interfere with prescription medication. Natural does not always mean safe. Taking herbal medicines with prescriptions may counteract the intended effects or make an illness worse. Ingredients and additives in herbal medicines are often not regulated by the FDA. Herbal supplements may cause dangerous side-effects or illness. Oxy Elite Pro, a weight loss supplement, caused liver damage and failure in users in Hawaii approximately 2 years ago. Ginseng has been known to raise blood pressure, and cause nervousness and high fever. Gingko, Garlic and Feverfew can increase the action of blood thinners, causing bleeding.
We are also training supervisors to observe workers for signs of drug abuse. If you need help, come forward before you get caught. Don’t hurt yourself or a coworker.