Is Britain Facing An Epidemic Of Steroid Use?


Anabolic steroid use is a growing issue amongst the UK’s young, image-conscious men, according to a report published in the Telegraph. The newspaper says experts suggest the country could be facing a “health time bomb” from this problem, which is under-represented by official stats.

The long-term use of anabolic steroids has been linked to health issues including depression, heart problems, and cognitive damage. Other side-effects are immediate, including aggression and high blood pressure.

Perhaps even more worrying is the rate of HIV infection due to the use of steroids which are injected into the body. At a 1.5 per cent infection rate, these figures are as high as for injectors of drugs like heroin. So rife is the problem that some gyms are placing needle bins in their changing rooms.

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Once mainly used by professional sportspeople, steroid use has become more prolific in recent years, as young men attempt to build their muscle. The media has been blamed in many respects, as displaying toned bodies, with big muscles, as aspirational images.

The side effects of steroid use can be extremely detrimental to health, and in the work environment. Remember, this is a class C drug and it is prohibited, despite the ease with which it can be acquired.

If you are concerned about the health and wellbeing of an employee or employees who you think may be taking steroids, it is important to get advice from your occupational health specialist. Side effects and poor health related to drug use can lead to issues amongst staff, including aggression in the case of steroid users.

At OHBM we offer an array of services, including a 24 hour ‘Call out’ Drug & Alcohol testing service and fast-track to specialist Drug & Alcohol rehabilitation. Talk to us today for expert information.

How does your business deal with drug and alcohol issues in the workforce?

It’s a subject you might not want to think about, but drug and alcohol problems are a real concern for today’s businesses.

More than 9 million people in England are drinking more than the recommended daily limits, and alcohol is one of the three biggest lifestyle risk factors for disease and death in the UK – after smoking and obesity. Nine per cent of men and four per cent of women in the UK show signs of alcohol dependence, yet only 6.4 per cent of dependent drinkers access any form of treatment.

In the workplace, harmful drinking can occur in a number of ways, from excessive drinking in leisure time, and inappropriate drinking in work hours or before shifts, to binge drinking during or after work activities. According to the Institute of Alcohol Studies, alcohol can have an array of negative effects in the workplace, including absenteeism, neglect of details, more frequent mistakes, decreases in the quality and quantity of work, and inconsistent performance.

It is a also widely believed that alcohol is the cause of numerous accidents in work. The International Labour Organisation estimated up to 40 per cent of workplace accidents are related to alcohol use.

So how can your business help employees who are drinking to much, or are addicted to other substances? Contact OHBM for information about our fast-track to specialist drug and alcohol rehabilitation, our 24 hour testing service, and support with your workplace policies.

Watch the video below for further details.


Are Your Employees Drinking Too Much Alcohol?

Alcohol is estimated to cause 3-5% of all absences from work; about 8 to 14 million lost working days in the UK each year. This comes at a cost of £7.3 billion per year to the UK economy and is the cause of 40% of accidents in the workplace.

The obvious causes of alcohol misuse is the hangover, whereby employees take sick days due to drinking too much the night before but there are also other implications to the workplace, as well as the lives of employees. For example, for 25 to 59 year olds, excessive drinking is the world’s primary risk factor for ill heath and premature death.

The problems lie in the fact that it isn’t always obvious when co-workers or staff are suffering due to alcohol misuse. There are actually more than 60 different medical conditions caused by alcohol misuse ranging from liver cirrhosis to throat cancer, as well as the problems associated with safety when employees in certain work environments turn in drunk or hungover.

What can your business do to help employees?

There is suggestion that the same approach used in GP’s surgeries and hospitals may also be effective in the workplace. This involves using a risk assessment sheet, on which employees answer a number of questions about their drinking habits. A five to ten minute session including feedback and advice on the assessment’s results is then given.

The evidence that making drinkers aware of health implications has positive effects is extensive and NICE recommends this approach to the medical environment. A number of organisations are now implementing this practice in the work environment to help lower individuals’ alcohol intake.

If you would like further advice and assistance on reducing the risk of alcohol on your workforce’s health and wellbeing speak to OHBM today.

Workplace Drugs Testing And The Law [Video]

If you’re considering implementing workplace drugs testing, you need to be sure you’re up to speed on the legal implications of this task. While you do have a duty of protection and ensuring safety in the workplace, you can’t force a staff member to take a test.

At OHBM we can help guide you the drug testing process, whether this is something you’ve done before or you’re new to the process. Watch our video above for further information and contact the team today.

Workplace Drug-testing And The Law: Where Do You Stand?

As an employer it can be difficult to decipher the law on drug testing at work. In fact, in the UK the law if drugs-testing can be very unclear according to the TUC, because an individual can’t be charged simply because they have tested positive after a drugs test.

In the workplace however, employers have to abide by Health and Safety legislation. This means they have a duty of protection for safety in the workplace, according to the Health and Safety at Work Act. This piece of workplace law includes making sure staff members aren’t working under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.

When is drug-testing a necessity?

Workplace drugs testing is required in workplaces where the effects of drug and alcohol have the potential to cause safety risks. Employers have a legal responsibility to look after staff at work, as far as is reasonably possible.

When an employer decides to test for drugs they will need employees to agree to being tested. It should be restricted only to employees that need to be tested to mitigate risk. While it is illegal to force an individual to provide samples (including urine, hair, blood or saliva) for testing or any other purpose, refusal may be grounds for dismissal at work. This is the case only where the staff member has a contractual obligation to do so.

OHBM drug screening services

At OHBM we provide professional drug-testing services and can help you navigate the legislation associated with screening. Our services include support with writing your own policy, drug and alcohol testing, and a 24-hour call-out drug-testing service within two hours.

We can also provide after-care services such as fast-track to specialist drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

For further information talk to our team. Whether you need a testing service imminently or are concerned about how to deal with a potential problem we’re more than happy to help.