5 January 2020 posted by Recovery Partners

Prohibited substances include any prescription or over-the-counter drugs and any other legally or otherwise obtained substance that can impair a person’s judgment and functioning. In the workplace, the use of such substances can place a significant risk to both the affected person and other employees’ health and safety. 

As a result, many businesses in Australia are formulating policies and regulations against all forms of substance abuse prior, or during working hours.

Categories of prohibited substances

Several varied substances fall into the category, including:


Alcohol is the biggest culprit in most companies across the country. Alcoholic beverages (Wines, spirits and beers) predispose workers to compromised motor function, slowed reflexes and sleepiness or drowsiness.

Prescription drugs

There is always a level of risk when using any drug – even the legally obtained prescription or over-the-counter medications. The reaction to these drugs varies from person to person, and in many cases, can affect an employee’s ability to perform optimally.

Other prohibited substances include, but are not limited to the following;
  • Depressants – Tranquilizers and sedatives
  • Illegal substances – Amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, morphine, LSD, and marijuana

Interestingly, lost productivity costs Australian businesses around 6 billion dollars each year. Drug and alcohol use can significantly contribute to this by causing:

  • Poor decision making
  • Loss of efficiency
  • Absenteeism

To help maintain a healthy and safe workplace, more companies implement procedures and policies regarding drug and alcohol testing.


At Recovery Partners, we offer drug and alcohol testing on-site or as part of a pre-employment assessment. We will help you assess your current workforce and potential employees on all aspects of functional capability, mental state and possible dependence on any of the prohibited substances.

Our services are available in multiple locations nationwide. For more information on our services enquire here

Our consultants love to have a chat, so go ahead and give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789) or email enquiries@rrp.com.au


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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/