Drug and alcohol use in the workplace may be a lot more common than you think and it has become taboo to talk about. About 60% of adults with substance abuse struggles are employed full time. This number is frightening for many reasons, primarily because people you see on a day-to-day basis could be silently struggling with an addiction. It is important to pick up on any warning signs that a co-worker could be in trouble so that you can help them get the help they need.
These are just a few warning signs that someone you know could need help:
- Frequent disruptions in attendance, such as unexplained absences or tardiness especially right after payday
- Performance problems
- Strained or limited relationships at work
- Mood and behavior swings
- Lack of personal hygiene or grooming
Noticing and acting on these signs is vital in getting an addict the help that they need. It is also imperative in the productivity of your business. Substance abuse costs the U.S. an estimated $276 billion dollars every year, and because so many abusers are part of the work force, much of this financial responsibility falls on employers in the form of health care expenses, absenteeism, reduced productivity, and increased workers’ comp and disability claims.
Do not ignore the warning signs. By helping someone through their struggle with addiction you could be going as far as to save their lives. If you feel someone in your workplace could be fighting drug or alcohol abuse, refer them to the Employee Assistance Program for support and assessment. Reach out to your HR Consultant if you have any questions or need guidance in how to approach this subject with an employee.
Visit drugabuse.com and see details from the coalition against drug abuse to learn more about the battle against addiction.