Substance Dependency in the Workplace

March 26, 2021

We are now weeks into the third wave of the COVID19 pandemic, and substance dependency is on a steady incline. The Mental Health Commission of Canada states, “Between October and December 2020, around one third of those surveyed who drink alcohol reported drinking more since the start of this crisis.”

With this substantial increase also comes more risk and danger in the workplace. This is a highly complicated situation as the BC Human Rights Code states, “Drug and alcohol addictions are considered disabilities under the BC Human Rights Code. But according to the BC Human Rights Coalition, management has the right and responsibility to manage impairment at work.”

Remedying these circumstances involves eliminating the stigma of substance dependency. Employers should create a safe space for employees to come forward without the fear of judgement and persecution with anonymity.

Pacifica provides intensive care for community members experiencing problematic substance use. We believe it to be of the utmost importance to address the underlying issues that lead to addiction. We hold both publicly funded, and also one of the most affordable private treatment beds in BC, as we believe accessibility is key!

Pacifica respectfully acknowledges that we provide services in the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. We are grateful for the opportunity to work on this land.

Pacifica is committed to providing individualized care, through the identification of client-established goals so that participation may become more progressively client-driven. Discharge planning begins at the time of admission, and continues with appropriate goal-review and goal-modification along the way. The client journey may continue through the Transitional Program, Continuing Care Program, Alumni Support & Services, and external referrals to community resources for ongoing services and supports.

Pacifica embraces the values that support gender equity; anti-oppression; anti-homophobia/anti-transphobia; the elimination of stigma; sex-positivity; access for people with disabilities; anti-harassment and workplace violence; and, anti-racism. Pacifica is committed to these values because we serve individuals often coming from marginalized and racialized communities who have experienced meaningful barriers to service access. It’s our role to ensure these values are reflected in our everyday work and to ensure that individuals who come to the agency do not experienced such barriers.

Pacifica is committed to the meaningful involvement of people experiencing the challenges associated with substance use or dependency, mental health and/or trauma. This commitment ensures that we seek the leadership of individuals with “lived experience” at all levels of the organization, the delivery of services, and in meeting our mission.