The problem of substance abuse in the workplace is real and the cost to industry prohibitive. In June 1996, we reported an increasing need for drug testing in our workplace in Chevron Nigeria offshore operations and a significant positivity rate in the period between Jan 1993 and Dec 1995. The partial implementation of a drug testing program and employee awareness campaigns have slightly reduced the need for drug testing and indeed the pattern of substance abuse over the last 18 months compared to our earlier report.

In the current study period, 17 drug and alcohol tests were conducted. Of these 15 were contract staff and 2 were Chevron employees. 9 subjects were expatriates and 8 nationals. A total of 8 positive tests were recorded, all in contract employees – 3 for drugs and 5 for alcohol. 2 nationals tested positive to marijuana and 1 expatriate tested positive to both marijuana and benzodiazepines. 5 subjects tested positive to alcohol (3 nationals and 2 expatriates).

The Company Drug and Alcohol Policy has been reviewed and approved by management. It has been presented to and discussed with regulatory bodies and Workers Unions. Safety sensitive positions have been identified and employee awareness programs designed. Staff training is ongoing, and, random drug screening should commence in the near future using the double barrel method. Screening tests will be conducted by the Chevron Nigeria medical team using the Latex agglutination inhibition technique. This will be backed up by a second screening technique to eliminate false positives. Only screen positive specimens will be sent out for confirmatory tests. Blood alcohol concentration is estimated using Alco Sensor IV. It is hoped that random screening, when commenced, will further reduce substance abuse in our workplace.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.