Home > Maintaining Recovery > Addiction in the Workplace

Addiction in the Workplace

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 8 Dec 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Addiction Workplace Recovery

With only a small percent of adults obtaining in-patient treatment for addictions, the vast majority of people with addictions are in the workplace. Some may be undiagnosed while others will be obtaining treatment outside of work. Virtually any kind of addiction may be present but typically, drug and alcohol are the key ones.

It is an important issue for those who are moving towards recovery and also for those who are struggling with their addiction and not currently undergoing treatment.

How Do Addictions Affect the Workplace?

Addictions can affect the workplace in many different ways. They drastically reduce an employee’s ability to positively contribute to the success of a company. While there has been an increase in the use of stimulants for employees who feel pressure to meet deadlines, these are dangerous.

Short-term, an employee may feel they can stay awake longer to complete tasks but long-term, their cognitive abilities decline and their productivity is diminished as they suffer the physical and mental effects of the drug use.

Economic Effects of Addiction

The loss of productivity affects the company profits, product quality and also leads to more lost days of work and greater costs to healthcare. The entire economic fabric of a company can be compromised, depending on the number of employees dealing with addiction, their roles and the availability of help and treatment.

Human Costs of Workplace Addiction

The effects of addiction on a person’s life outside of work also affect their time at work. Emotional problems and a breakdown in the person’s family and personal life will all affect them in the workplace. The safety of the public can even be of concern, depending on the job function of the addicted person.

How to Identify Workplace Addiction

Many of the ways to identify workplace addiction involve the key signs of a specific drug addiction. It is not always easy as some people are ‘functional’ addicts and may be relatively effective at hiding the signs of drug addiction.

Common signs include a change in their work attendance or how well they perform when they’re at work. A person’s personal appearance may begin to change as well. Moodiness, aggressiveness and overall changes in their attitude at work could represent an addiction. They may just generally show odd behaviours that are uncharacteristic of them as well.

Workplace Policies for Addiction

One of the key issues with addiction is that even though workplaces should offer well-defined guidelines for prevention and addressing addiction, not enough do so, which harms everyone in the workplace. If an employee suffers from a substance abuse problem, he or she needs support and access to treatment, plus post-treatment support to help them integrate back into the workplace.

Talking About Addiction in the Workplace

One of the most significant challenges is actually getting the person to talk about their addiction and openly acknowledge it. This is generally seen as one of the toughest barriers to get past in the workplace.

A lack of experience in identifying it from a human resources perspective compounds the problem. For this reason, better training needs to be in place to help people identify when there’s a problem and help that person get treatment. To properly address addiction in the workplace, everyone needs to be educated and take the initiative to help those who they think may be suffering from addiction.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Hi i have a strong craving for cigarettes and dont know if i really want to quit or if i have a hard time motivating myself i take a medicine to help me quit but i still have urges to smoke is it something religious im involved in in the wrong way in how or is it i need more support i mostly stay home alone until about 6:30 at night i have stratigies on paper i love to write things down and draw but i cant seem to sit down and focus or stay with them i jump to a new task i dont know what to dothanks
Micky - 8-Dec-18 @ 12:14 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Jane
    Re: Beating an Addiction to Drugs
    I have a son who has addictionn illness, he is aware and wants to change but can't. I am getting very stressed when he is out…
    17 February 2020
  • Lynne
    Re: Beating an Addiction to Drugs
    My son is a recovering addict I desperately need to talk to someone one
    16 February 2020
  • Mjb
    Re: Addiction Treatment Centers: What to Expect
    My son is 44 has mental health issues and is self medicating with street valium.It has taken over his life he…
    4 February 2020
  • Hannah
    Re: Recognising Alcohol Addiciton
    Hi I drink about 2 bottles of wine a day start late afternoon until evening watch tv don’t remember much after about 7.30 then…
    9 January 2020
  • Joseph
    Re: Addiction to Shopping
    Hi, I wonder if you can help? I am slightly worried about my bills and during my constant worrying, i spend money on materialistic things…
    27 December 2019
  • Pandalove1
    Re: Recognising drug addiction.
    Hey I reaching out to you as well what can I say an addict. I’ve always done recreational drugs since I was a teen, taking pills…
    19 October 2019
  • Adrianon
    Re: How to Assess The Level of an Addiction
    My partner of 2 years drinks beer everyday. It has got to the stage where he supplements beer for food. Drinking at…
    10 August 2019
  • Kdawg
    Re: Physical Effects of Solvents
    I'm 25 turning 26 in a couple weeks, I've been on solvents for half my life on and off, I've been clean for maybe four months or…
    12 May 2019
  • tross1970
    Re: Addiction and the Law
    amphetamine has been my addiction since about 2001 although i did enjoy alcohol since the age of 13.Ii progressed from oral use to…
    25 April 2019
  • Fin
    Re: Medical Help to Beat an Addiction
    i have been struggling with a pornography addiction and it is getting too much for me now to handle and it’s starting to…
    28 December 2018