Addiction In The Workplace

 

It is kind of a tricky situation to find out or even suspect that one of your employees or coworkers is addicted to drugs. According to research by the Department of Health, more than 50% of people that are addicted to drugs are in the workforce. Employers are too busy to notice the signs that an employee is an addict and when they do, it is usually too late.

 

A lot of people assume that there is no such thing as substance abuse at work because everybody is properly screened and background checked. Usually these addictions start after they are hired and there could be a number of causes that can lead one to become an addict.

 

These days, people use drugs in the guise of pain medications. Most people just think that it is some chronic pain that a person has and the employee is having his/her regular medication.

 

So if you are an employer or coworker, here are the steps you need to take before it gets too late:

 

 

 

  1. Have a private meeting

You don’t have to involve the entire office and embarrass your coworker or employee, just include yourself and his close colleagues with him/her and confront about the situation. If you are the superior, you can call that person to your office and discuss it discreetly. Talk about what is bothering your colleague and how it all started. Sign the person up for any external support groups and show that you care for the well-being of your coworker. Don’t threaten or reprimand the addict because it only makes it worse.

 

  1. Get in touch with your lawyer

If your employee’s workplace addiction problem is worsening and he/she shows no signs of changing, you should first consult a lawyer before taking any action. Every state has different laws regarding firing someone for substance abuse. Talk to your lawyer about the whole process of dealing with an employee who is an addict. You have to be cautious because you don’t want to end up being sued.

 

  1. Check out insurance

You need to first check with your HR department about what are the medical insurance policies your company is practicing for covering the treatment of an employee. Every policy differs and so you need to determine how much you can cover for an employee who is an addict.

 

  1. Warning

If you see really obvious signs of substance abuse such as change of behavior, poor job performance and it leads up to the point of a confrontation. Use a warning message, both in email and in a meeting. Clearly lay out what will be in the cards if he/she doesn’t get help.

 

Pain killers are the easiest way of someone developing a drug abuse habit. It might be because someone had an accident so the doctor prescribed them for the injury pain or someone just delved into it due to bad company. Whatever the case, seeking and providing immediate help should be crucial to a healthy recovery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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