Examining the patterns, prevalence and related issues associated with alcohol and other drug (AOD) use among Australian workers.

High rates of AOD use among Australian workers are associated with numerous negative consequences including its impact on workers’ wellbeing and performance and the duty of care afforded by employers.

The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) has extensive experience and knowledge in responding to workplace AOD-related issues, having recently published seminal research findings looking at:

  • prevalence rates and predictors of Australian construction workers’ use of cannabis, cocaine and meth/amphetamine
  • construction workers’ alcohol use, knowledge, perceptions of risk and workplace norms.

Drawing on NCETA’s national and international workplace research reputation, the Australian Government Department of Health has funded the Centre to conduct in-depth analyses of national datasets and undertake innovative primary research to determine:

  1. Descriptive patterns of AOD use (cross sectional and time series) by industry and occupation groups.
  2. Profile of users and relationships between AOD use with key socio-economic factors (e.g. mental health, rurality).
  3. Predictors of risky workplace AOD use and high AOD use among certain industry and occupation groups.
  4. Consequences of patterns of use for workers and organisations in relation to specific harms and impacts.
  5. The relationship between AOD use patterns and workplace policies across industries.
  6. Intervention efficacy addressed through a systematic review (e.g. drug testing, worker education, online interventions, other workplace-based interventions).
  7. New and emerging AOD issues impacting the workplace, such as the use of prescribed medications and the potential for interaction with other drug types.

NCETA will also use the implications of the findings for the design and implementation of evidence-informed interventions, with a particular focus on at-risk groups such as young workers and the school-to-work transition phase, and those working in safety-critical industries.