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  • Writer's pictureKVZK TV

ASG reminds public servants of adverse effects of alcohol and drugs in the workplace

The Department of Human Resources has issued a public reminder to public servants of their commitment to providing a safe and productive workplace and eliminating risks associated with the adverse effects of alcohol and other drugs in the workplace.

The Director of Human Resources, Lynn Pulou Alaimalo, in an interview with KVKZ, says no employee can attend the workplace while under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs.

This will eliminate the risk of an employee’s work performance being adversely affected or the safety of the employee or others being compromised due to alcohol consumption or illicit drug use.

The use of drugs and alcohol may cause severe difficulties at work, including deterioration in job performance. Although experience has shown the problem of eliminating substance abuse, the ASG workplace policy now in place assists individuals, says DHR Director Alaimalo.

Furthermore, problems relating to alcohol and drugs may arise due to personal, family, or social factors, from certain work situations, or a combination of these elements. Such problems not only hurt the health and well-being of employees but may also cause many work-related issues, including deterioration in job performance. Given that there are multiple causes of alcohol and drug-related problems, various approaches to prevention, assistance, treatment, and rehabilitation exist.

This policy applies to all employees working for ASG, including permanent, temporary, full-time, and part-time employees. The ASG has made it clear since the beginning of the Lemanu and Talauega Administration that addressing drug use is an urgent priority of the Administration.

In March this year, Acting Governor Talauega E V Ale in March this year convened a meeting of the Comprehensive Substance Abuse Council to receive updates and presentations from its committees and the Department of Legal Affairs. In that meeting, the Acting Governor spoke about the importance of this council and its members in furthering the

Administration’s priority of combatting the growing substance use issues in the Territory.

The work we have to do is great, and the only way we can succeed is if we work together, said Acting Governor Talauega.

“If you’re wondering whether we have a drug problem, it’s yes. It is very profitable, and we have a difficult task ahead in preventing our youth and community members from falling victim to this disease."

In 2018 the American Samoa Government drew up a Drug and Alcohol Policy to deal with employees experiencing drug or alcohol related problems in the workplace. The Drug and Alcohol Policy had since been amended to reflect new changes by the current administration.

A law was approved by the Fono in October 2018 that outlines the appropriate and uniform alcohol and drug test procedures for all government employees, applicants for government jobs, elected officials, political appointees, contractors, subcontractors, and independent contractors.

The drug tests, according to the law, are part of the application process for ASG jobs, and any employee exhibiting behavior that creates reasonable suspicion of the improper use of alcohol or illegal drugs will be subject to drug tests.

The ASG Drug and Alcohol Policy, according to a press statement issued at that time, aimed to provide clear guidance on the management of staff with drug-related issues in addition to taking a preventative approach that focuses on raising awareness

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