The use of alcohol and drugs in the workplace has a major impact on the health and productivity of the workforce. This study tested the effectiveness of a substance abuse and substance-related HIV prevention programme (Team Awareness) adapted for use within a South African workplace setting.
The research design was a clustered randomised control trial. Data were collected from 325 employees employed in two divisions within a local municipality. The Team Awareness (TA) intervention was administered to 168 employees in the intervention arm; and 157 employees in the control arm received a one-hour wellness talk. Self-report questionnaires were used to gather data. An intention-to-treat approach was followed and data analysed using a random effects model accounting for clustering.
The results suggest that employees who received TA showed significant reductions in binge drinking (>5 drinks) and going to work with a hangover from baseline to three month follow-up. Employee substance abuse policy knowledge and help-seeking behaviour increased from time one to time two among those in the intervention arm.
The results suggest that employees who received TA showed significant reductions in the risky use of alcohol from baseline to three month follow-up. TA was also found to improve employee knowledge in relation to workplace substance abuse polices and improved help-seeking behaviour.
The results are encouraging as it suggests that programmes such as TA that are based on the principles of social health promotion are useful for addressing problem drinking within the workplace and subsequently increases help-seeking behaviours.