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Safety and Savings Tips For March 2013, from All Safety Products, Inc.

Medication and the Job: How safe are legal drugs in the workplace?

While the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse in the workplace are well known, little attention has been paid to prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The fact that these drugs are legal makes them seem safe. Yet some of these medicines can cause serious impairment problems and may interact with other drugs or foods in ways that can jeopardize your safety on the job.

For instance, a study performed by the University of Iowa found that an OTC dose of Benadryl, a common antihistamine, can impair your driving performance at least as much as alcohol. Another OTC medication, Excedrin, used to treat minor aches and pains, contains 65 mg of caffeine per tablet. If combined with coffee drinking, it could cause a good case of the jitters. Stimulants, such as diet pills or stay-awake tablets, may provide an initial energy boost, but they increase the tendency for impulsiveness and risk-taking.

The more potent prescription drugs can cause even stronger reactions. Depressants, such as Valium and Xanax, can slow brain activity and impair thinking and judgment. Breakdown products from depressants can stay in your body for days after use as well, affecting coordination, concentration, and judgment.

What You Can Do

Fortunately there's a lot you can do to protect your safety on the job when you're taking medication:
  • Read medication labels carefully.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects. Typical impairments include drowsiness, nervousness, or poor sense of balance.
  • Ask about possible drug interactions. Some prescription and OTC drugs can interact with foods, beverages, and other medications.
  • For example, you should avoid alcohol if you're taking antihistamines, cough and cold products with the ingredient dextromethorphan, or drugs that treat sleeplessness.
  • Talk to your supervisor if you're taking a medication that could affect your fitness to safely perform your job.

Alcohol Dependence Can Be DeadlyBut It Can Also Be Treated!

Alcohol abuse can cause big problems.

Health problems:
  • Long-term drinking causes damage to the heart, brain, liver, and nervous system.
  • Drinking while pregnant can cause birth defects and other problems in the baby.
  • Drinking large quantities of alcohol in a short time can cause coma, even death.

Job problems:
  • Going to work when under the influence of alcohol puts you and your co-workers at serious risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Alcohol abuse can affect your work to the point where you could lose your job and your incomeunless you seek treatment.

Social and economic problems:
  • Aggressive behavior and violence caused by drinking take their toll on family and friends.
  • Many heavy drinkers eventually become emotionally and socially isolated and over time lose most of their close relationships.
  • People who abuse alcohol and who fail to get help can end up losing everything they've worked for.

But the good news is that people who abuse alcohol can be helped.
  • First they must recognize their problem.
  • Then, counseling and treatment can help them stop drinking completely and rebuild their lives.
If you or anyone you know has a drinking problem, take it seriously and arrange for proper treatment right away.

About All Safety Products

We are all about trying to save you money when we are able to. It is our shipping policy to only charge you the actual shipping/handling costs. Sometimes there is a shipping error on our website.  We do review all orders for accuracy and pleasantly surprise our customers when we notify them of an adjustment in their favor. We make money on products, not shipping!