SPOTLIGHT: SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND ADDICTION
The motion picture industry, by its very nature, creates a unique combination of stresses on its workers. Extremely long hours, fatigue, time away from family and friends, tight deadlines, high financial stakes, constantly shifting expectations, lack of routine, and the freelance nature of the work all contribute to an environment where many feel the need to take the edge off once their workday ends.
Many people can and do use alcohol, cannabis, prescription medications or other substances in ways that carry minimal risk. However, when substance use starts to negatively affect relationships (both personal and professional), health, and/or job performance - and therefore personal finances, it's time to assess and think about making a change, especially in the context of the ongoing fentanyl crisis we see in the news every day.
Workplace safety is also of concern related to problematic substance abuse and addiction. WorkSafeBC's Occupational Health and Safety Regulation states:
Impairment by alcohol, drug or other substance
(1) A person must not enter or remain at any workplace while the person's ability to work is affected by alcohol, a drug or other substance so as to endanger the person or anyone else.
(2) The employer must not knowingly permit a person to remain at any workplace while the person's ability to work is affected by alcohol, a drug or other substance so as to endanger the person or anyone else.
(3) A person must not remain at a workplace if the person's behaviour is affected by alcohol, a drug or other substance so as to create an undue risk to workers.
In addition to existing legislation, check your start pack. There is almost certainly a corporate drug and alcohol policy in the documents you sign every time you start work on a new production.
As motion picture cast and crew, we must all work together to support each others' well-being, and to ensure we are all safe at work. When substance abuse becomes an interfering factor in our work and lives, then help is available. The help is confidential, and is provided by third parties with an arm's length relationship to the union or guild. Staff at your union will not know if or when you access the services provided under your health and welfare benefits plan, or your organization's Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) or Member and Family Assistance Plan (MAP).
- The Addiction Spiral (PDF)
- There's also good news! Read the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction's Life in Recovery Report. (PDF)
Click here for details about addiction and mental health benefits offered through your BC motion picture union or guild.
PUBLICLY AVAILABLE BC ADDICTION RESOURCES:
- The Alcohol & Drug Information and Referral Service: 1 800 663 1441 / 604 660 9382
- Whether for yourself or someone you care about, find information, options, support, and referrals to a full range of counselling and treatment services across BC. Confidential, multilingual, free, and available 24/7.
- Here to Help
- Helping People Who Use Substances
- You and Substance Use
- About Alcohol
- Alcohol Drinking Guidelines
- Risky Drinking Screening Test
- Saying When: How to Quit Drinking or Cut Down (iOS App)
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Stop Overdose BC
- Narcotics Anonymous