Drug and Alcohol Addiction in the Workplace

Drug and alcohol addiction undoubtedly makes an impact on the lives of everyone it involves; not just the dependent individual.  It effects friends, family, and often times co-workers experience the negative behaviors of addiction as well. For employers, having an addicted individual working for them can be a very difficult and awkward situation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employees who abuse drugs or alcohol are 25 to 30 percent less productive on the job and miss work three times more often than non-abusing employees. Drug and alcohol addiction in the workplace also results in significantly higher safety risks, as 65 percent of all accidents on the job have been shown to be related to drug or alcohol use.  As an employer, there are many early signs of drug and alcohol addiction to look for that can help you combat the negative effects of dependency in the workplace, and hopefully get your employee some help.  Sometimes, especially in a professional atmosphere where people are usually on their “best behavior,” recognizing signs of drug and alcohol dependency isn’t always easy, as some substance abusing individuals have had practice hiding their addictions for months or years.  Some key signs to look for are:  frequent tardiness or unexplained absences from work, extended lunch breaks, a distant attitude or avoidance of supervisors, missed deadlines or incomplete assignments, various excuses, a careless attitude, poor personal appearance, sudden or unusual weight loss or gain, odd mood swings or erratic behavior, sleepiness, or noticeable financial problems.  If you notice these problems in your workplace, Passages Malibu can help.

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