Dealing with an employee’s substance abuse problem – A guide for co-employees

Off late, too many businesses are finding substance abuse finding their way into businesses and companies. As per the Department of Health and Human Service’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 20.8 million adults who are into drug abuse of any kind, 55% of them were employed. As per a certified drug and alcohol therapist, there are many employers who miss the signs and symptoms of having employees practicing drug abuse.

The symptoms and signs can be subtle and it may include very minute signs like bloodshot eyes, smell of alcohol from their mouth and so on. Some other noteworthy absences can include too many leaves, coming late to work and still leaving early. If you see someone always active and walking around but not getting anything worthwhile done, you can be sure that he takes drugs which only keeps him active but harms his productivity.

What to do when you suspect an employee of substance abuse?

Here are few viable steps that you may take whenever you suspect some employee taking drugs in your office.

#1: Gather enough resources against him

Majority of the communities these days have agencies for preventing substance abuse and resources too. You should check out for local organizations to know whether or not they have any sorts of educational materials for individuals dealing with any kind of substance abuse. When you have a list of support groups, resources, treatment facilities, this will give your employee some guidance to start treating his issue. Make sure you make the list of resources available to all employees in the company so that they feel comfortable in seeking help.

#2: Evaluate your insurance policy coverage

In case you have employer-provided health insurance policy, you should get in touch with your insurance company to check whether or not the treatment is covered and whether they have treatment covered for such issues. The coverage can differ from one policy to another and hence it is vital to understand what is covered so that you can motivate the co-employee take required action for his economic position.

#3: Seek help of a lawyer

From deciding on your business’ substance abuse policy to firing an employee who is using drugs in office, you always need to seek help of a substance abuse attorney throughout the procedure so that they can help you deal with the employee who is addicted. He is the one who is sure about the government employment laws and whether or not there is any termination which can comply with such laws.

#4: Take immediate action

The worst step that you can take is to ignore the symptoms and signs of drug abuse. If you find an employee with such common signs, make sure you address the issue immediately and start by talking privately to that person. Offer him help if needed.

So, no matter whether you’re a co-employee of someone who is taking drugs or you’re the one who is taking it, if you don’t seek help and recover from it, you are soon to be fired by the company. Hence, take immediate steps to help yourself.

Author Bio: Lee Weiss is the CEO of Elev8 Centers, who provides comprehensive treatment for substance abuse in New York, Massachussets and Pennsylvania. Lee is an experienced operator, consultant and investor in the residential and outpatient substance abuse industry.