Addiction can impact everyone. Even your business can be impacted if you have employees who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Besides causing employees to be late and absent frequently, and disrupting the flow of work for everyone, addiction can also lead to:
The more high-risk the nature of your work, the more devastating the consequences of addiction can be in the workplace as it promotes risk-taking and impairs decision-making. That can lead to serious problems for everyone.
It’s important that you understand how to recognize and treat addiction in the workplace to keep your employees safe. You can always work with an addiction treatment specialist one-on-one, or you can use these tips:
You may not know that any of your employees are struggling with addiction until you find them overdosing in a closet somewhere. Instead of waiting for that dramatic moment – at which point your company has already surely suffered as a result of the addiction – you should look for these signs in your employees:
There may be many other signs that an employee has an addiction, but these are some of the most common and the most noticeable. If you identify any of these signs, it’s time for you to take action for your workplace.
There really is no way to prevent employees from struggling with addiction. Contrary to popular belief, addiction is not a choice. People may make the decision to use for the first time, but their brain takes over from there and grips them in addiction. Not everyone who tries drugs succumbs to addiction, but those who do, do so through no choice of their own.
You may be able to minimize your risk of addiction in the workplace by taking some proactive measures. The best thing you can do is thoroughly screen employees so that you do not hire someone with a substance abuse or addiction problem. Run a thorough background check and perform a drug test on every potential hire. Do not hire people who fail the drug test or who have drug violations on their criminal record.
You may inadvertently hire someone who is already addicted to drugs or alcohol, or one of your employees may become addicted during their tenure with your company. If you know or suspect that someone is struggling with addiction, you may be able to take steps to help that person and to protect your workplace.
Keep records of all behaviors you have noted in the workplace. You should keep records of behaviors you have noticed, as well as of meetings or communications you have had with the employee regarding behaviors or performance. You may need this documentation if you have to fire the employee.
If the behaviors continue, you may need to meet with the employee to ask them to get help or you may need to fire them. You can’t let someone who is a danger to others continue in the workplace. If you encourage the employee to get help (which you should), you should provide some options to help the person get started. Find out what insurance covers, and offer a few suggestions for drug treatment centers or addiction clinics.
Above all, when you have to confront an employee about their addiction, even if you have to fire them, be compassionate. Recovering from addiction is a life-long process, and it requires support and compassion from those around the person. Coming down with judgement and other negativity will only make the person feel worse and possibly retreat deeper into their addiction.
If you think that one of your employees are struggling with addiction, refer them to Corebella Health and Wellness. We are an addiction clinic and wellness clinic in one, offering people services like suboxone supplementation and addiction counseling, as well as overall wellness services like massage. Our goal is to help clients break the chains of addiction and build a happier and healthier life. We offer services in Glendale and Tempe. Call us today to learn more!
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