Stop addiction at workplace – What steps should employers take?

Alcohol and drug abuse in the workplace is becoming a common issue in the United States of America. As per the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 75% of the 16.8 million Americans who are engaged into drug abuse are employed. 25% of the workers accept the fact that they drink during daytime at least once. When you spot an employee who abuses alcohol and drugs, there can be some crucial upshots like absenteeism, injuries, traffic violations and fall in productivity levels.

There are few things that employers should do in order to address drug and alcohol abuse. At the first place, companies should have written policies for substance abuse prohibiting alcohol and drug use at workplaces. The employees should be asked to sign an agreement where they state that they understand and abide by the policies.

Signs which prove that an employee is abusing alcohol and drugs

Recognizing an employee who is abusing alcohol and drugs isn’t as easy as one should think. The foremost step to take is to identify what you should look for in an employee. Check out how substance abuse can be manifested.

Attendance irregularities

Employees who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely use up their sick leaves due to last-minute absence. You will also see that there is a pattern where sick days will keep in falling either on a Monday or a Friday or soon after payday.

Performance glitches

EEmployees who engage themselves in substance abuse might miss out on deadlines, quotas and become careless. They may even fail to finish up their assignments on time.

Strained relationships at work

An employee who is abusing alcohol or drugs can easily become short-tempered, argumentative or belligerent. He might avert talking with co-employees and may become comfortable along. He may go through mood swings often.

Issues with behavior

There are certain types of behaviors which can signal alcohol or drug abuse either during his duty hours or after the same. This can include bloodshot eyes, smell of alcohol, slurring or staggering speech, unusual loudness, use of breath mints of mouthwash and sleeping during work.

If you even spot just one of the above mentioned signs, you can be automatically sure that the employee has got a drug or drinking problem.

Dealing with it

Gathering evidence is a starting point that employers should begin with. There are some other steps that an employer can take.

Schedule an in-person meeting

The employer should schedule a meeting to discuss the performance of the employee and he should plan to have a meeting with him face-to-face.

Walk lightly

Unless you find the employee too much impaired on the job, you should take it lightly. Give him chance to improve his performance issues.

Be ready for denial

Denial is the most common reaction that supervisors will face and you should be ready to face it.

Offer help

Offer your helping hand to people who are into substance use of any sort.

Therefore, being an employer, you are supposed to take the best step forward in eliminating people who are into substance abuse in any form.

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.