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Drugs and alcohol policy at work

When I arrived at work on Monday there was a big envelope on my desk. I opened it and inside was a copy of the company’s drug and alcohol policy which it asked you to read and sign to say you had received it and read it so I skimmed through it and signed the bit of paper. Then it asked if you are on any medication. I take betaferon and Sativex. Just wondering what they will think about me taking a cannabis based medicine and worse than that I had to get it from emed so it is not even in my notes with my own GP. Never mind, I just wrote it down anyway. Honesty is usually the best policy! The betaferon identifies me as having MS which they know I have but I don’t really talk about. But guess it is just really a paperwork exercise for the company, I work for a ftse 100 company, since everyone seemed to get one. Cheryl:)

Hi Cheryl,

I gather you’ve regained the ability to post, then? :wink:

Since it’s prescription medication, I’m sure it will be fine. Many people must be on prescription meds that would be illegal if taken recreationally. But you’re not taking them recreationally, so that’s fine.

I agree with you honesty is the best policy here. If you were to lie, and it were subsequently to come out some other way, I’m sure it would be worse than if you’d been up-front from the start. They might wonder if it was something illicit, that you decided to keep quiet about it.

How are you getting on with the Sativex, by the way? My doctor didn’t have a clue - not a clue! Never really thought of going to eMed for it.

For the moment, I’m still not sure I would, as I seem to get on quite well with Baclofen - especially since I raised the dose recently. But I think it’s worth bearing in mind. Presumably, you’ve tried Baclofen too? Is Sativex better?

Tina

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Hi Tina, thanks, Greg and Bob sorted me out so I can post again. Hooray and thanks Greg and Bob, yeah I think you are right, since they are prescription meds and I am taking them quite legitimately, I think it will be ok. The policy also said that they carried out random drug tests and I didn’t want to be picked, the test to show I had taken cannabis and the company to wonder what that was all about when actually it is all quite legitimate. Also, although I don’t particularly talk about my ms, two of the men I work with do talk to me about it and they know I take Sativex, so yes honesty was the best policy! I am not really surprised about your doc not knowing about Sativex, mine didn’t either and there seemed no prospect of getting it on the nhs or even privately from an nhs doctor so I went to emed, and then it was easy to get. I think it takes the edge of my stiffness and sometime my legs feel tight and it helps this. In fact, I have hardly had any tightness since I started taking it (about march) because if my legs start to feel tight I take a spray and it helps pretty quickly. It doesn’t really make me walk any better. My walking is very poor, I manage in the house and office by holding on to things but that is about it and it does nothing for my very poor balance. I tried baclofen but it made me feel quite weak and tired so it wasn’t great, I couldn’t even really take a whole tablet without needing a sleep, wasn’t too bad if I took one before bed but that was it. I persevered for a long time too but have given up on them for Sativex for the moment. The down side of Sativex is that it marks me “high”. I know they say they removed the bit that makes you high, I don’t care it still makes me high so I am a bit limited with it, to one or at the most two sprays a day and well spaced out. But at least, I am not asleep! So I don’t think it’s better than baclofen but I seem to manage a bit better with it than I did with baclofen. How are you doing with your extra baclofen? Sounds like you manage well with baclofen and it seemts to suit you well. Cheryl:)

Hi Cheryl,

I did wonder if they were planning to implement drugs tests for staff - but didn’t know what the law was on that.

I totally agree it’s better to declare up-front than be selected for a “random” test, and have it show cannabis by-products in your pee - I assume it’s your pee they test, as they couldn’t force everyone to have a blood test…or could they?

Yeah, I’m alright with the Baclofen at the moment, thanks. I do think the extra tablet in the afternoons is helping, and I haven’t noticed any adverse reaction since I upped the dose.

I think I’d been struggling by on too little. But of course, it’s easy to say, with hindsight. You’re never quite sure what the problem is 'til you mess around with something and it helps, are you?

Off topic, but I just heard from the husband of my friend with v. aggressive MS. Not very encouraging news, as they have sold the adapted bungalow, and he has moved back by himself, to a house with stairs. Which means they must accept she’s never coming out of care, now.

It sounds like it’s a good place, and she is being well looked after there (which is worth knowing, if I ever need care myself - so many dreadful stories of helpless residents being abused). But still sad, as the theory was that she could get stable enough to come home again. Obviously not.

I know it’s quite rare for it to be that aggressive, and early indications are that mine is not following the same track at all. But it’s still very frightening and upsetting. I don’t think she’s going to make it. I think she and her hubby know it, too.

T.

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Hi again, yes I think it is pee they test. The nature of the business is that we employ a lot of young (usually male) school leavers and quite a lot of them seem to spend the weekend drinking or worse and don’t turn up for work on a Monday morning, not them all of course and most of them are fine to deal with, but I think this is really why we have the drug and alcohol policy and also the absence policy, it is really to cut down on this kind of thing. I am sorry about your friend and yes it sounds like she is not coming home, good as you say that she is well looked over, yes I worry too about conditions in these places. How is her husband coping with it? Yes, I try not to worry too much, and, although I feel fine and I work and cope about the house on my own , even now there are things that I don’t like doing without someone helping me , like the shower (away to hopefully install a wet room which should get me back to showering when no one else is in). I’ve had this since at least 1989 and still ok I guess so hopefully continue to do ok. Sounds like you do ok too. Cheryl:)

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Thanks