Work to prevent substance and alcohol abuse
The University of Oslo focuses on substance and alcohol abuse prevention in accordance with the AKAN model (AKAN = Workplace Advisory Centre for issues related to alcohol, drugs and addictive gambling in the workplace).
Also of key importance to this work is enabling managers to intervene – and get employees to address at an early stage – risky use of substances and alcohol and gambling behaviour.
Individual AKAN programmes and contracts
An AKAN programme aims to provide an individually tailored support programme for an employee suffering from substance or alcohol abuse, or gambling problems. The programme shall have a fixed structure and may include both internal and external measures, in collaboration with a treatment institution, for example.
Individual programmes are often a result of breaching the organisation’s applicable guidelines or other applicable regulations. Such breaches may be:
- reporting to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- using drugs or alcohol during working hours
- using drugs or alcohol outside of working hours so that it results in:
- not performing work satisfactorily
- the safety and quality requirements not being met
Individual AKAN programmes may also be established on the employee’s own initiative, or at the request of a manager or colleague.
A contract is signed between the employer and the employee, and the main AKAN contact and a nurse/doctor from the Occupational Health Service Unit will be present at the signing.
The contract shall function as a tool in the AKAN programme. In collaboration with the main contact, the occupational nurse will be responsible for the coordination of meetings with all the parties involved to follow up and evaluate the contract during the course of the programme. The contract is normally terminated when 2 years have passed after the last warning, and it is shredded after that.
What can you I do for a colleague?
Contact your immediate superior and tell what you have observed. You do not need to “collect” evidence, it is important to take the signals you react to seriously as early as possible. Contact your immediate superior and express your concern. Explain concretely what you have observed – do not use your own interpretations.
The manager shall inform the employees and follow UiO’s drug and alcohol policy (pdf) (Norwegian). It is the immediate superior with personnel responsibility who shall give warnings, inform about AKAN and offer a tailored programme to the individual in question. The manager shall invite the person in question to have a conversation. The employee shall be allowed to be accompanied by a union representative. Use the template for “the necessary conversation” (akan.no) (Norwegian). Take written minutes of the conversation. The manager shall respond to the employee’s breach of the employee regulations.