If you or a coworker are struggling with drug addiction, it is important to realize how it can affect the work environment and what you should do about it. Whether you are an addict, the coworker of an addict, or an employer, there are certain responsibilities within a workplace that should be addressed in regards to drug addiction.
If you are any employer of a business, substance abuse is an important issue that you will want to be informed about, as it is most likely affecting a portion of your employees. The United States Department of Labor assesses that workplace substance abuse is something that all employers should address.
No matter how well you believe you know your employee’s situation and personal lives, there is no telling if they are simply good at hiding an addiction. The DOL suggests that as an employer, you promote awareness among your employees, as well as offer appropriate resources and guidance to any employees.
If an employee knows that you are willing to help and supportive of their recovery, they may be more willing to come forward with the problem and try recovery.
According to NIDA, a common resource that many employers sponsor are Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). These are designed to counsel and assist any employees with substance abuse issues, as well as find them an appropriate support group to get involved in.
The results of individuals involved with EAPs have shown that choosing a drug-free lifestyle can greatly improve their productivity, punctuality, and other work-related skills.
Apart from drug use being bad for the individual’s own health, why should an employer be concerned if an employee uses drugs, as long as they do it on their own time and not work time? According to NCBI, you should be concerned because drug use is a threat to the safety of the work environment.
Also, drug use reduces your employee’s or coworker’s productivity, leaving others to pick up the slack or deal with the issues, which can create tension among coworkers. Drug use can also create unpredictable behavior and moods within the workplace, which is not a good thing for an environment that should be professional and stable to increase efficiency.
If you know of a coworker’s drug addiction and your employer or other coworkers do not, then the responsibility may fall on you to bring the issue to light. This can be a difficult situation as you may fear losing the coworker’s trust if you take the issue to your employer, but it may be necessary if the addiction is causing a threatening environment or endangering the individual’s health.
In the end, your honesty is for their own good and for the overall benefit of the workplace.
If you, a coworker or an employee are dealing with drug addiction, just call 800-768-8728 to speak with a caring specialist who can answer any of your questions or concerns.