Drug and alcohol use in the workplace is extremely dangerous.
When an employee uses drugs or alcohol and then operates machinery or is in a situation where they should be looking out for fellow workmen, accidents happen. Often times, it is not the person with the substance abuse problem that ends up being injured. Just imagine the aftermath of an accident caused by an intoxicated employee resulting in serious injury or death to others in the workplace. Besides the obvious devastation and grief to the family and friends of the injured or deceased workers, there are also many legal and ethical questions for the employer. Did they know, or should they have known about the employee’s drug or alcohol problem? What steps did they take to address it?
Ignoring an employee’s alcohol or drug problem is a recipe for disaster. Simply terminating the employment does not help either. All that will happen is the person will find employment elsewhere, but their drug or alcohol problems will go with them, possibly hurting someone else at a different job. Employee drug and alcohol problems cost organizations in many ways. Loss of productivity, worker absenteeism, safety violations, money and time are just a few. Employers and co-workers need to take the steps necessary to identify employee drug and alcohol problems and seek appropriate help. Brighton Center for Recovery can assist employers and their workers that are dealing with drug and alcohol substance abuse issues.
Recognizing the Signs of Employee Drug or Alcohol Problems in the Workplace:
Employees and co-workers do not have to drink or use drugs every day to have a problem. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol problems at work. The following is a checklist of workplace indicators that can help to determine if what you are observing is an employee alcohol or drug problem and if an intervention is needed. However, please remember that if your employee or co-worker shows any of the following workplace behaviors, it does not definitively signal a problem with drugs or alcohol at work. The presence of some of these signs could relate to stress, depression or other problems that are not related to drugs or alcohol.
Workplace Indicators of Employee Drug or Alcohol Problems:
- Workaholic behavior
- Disorganized schedule
- Decreased workload or workload intolerance
- Unsatisfactory work performance
- Alcohol on breath with attempts to cover with mints or mouthwash
- Frequent unexplained absences or prolonged breaks
- Tardiness or leaving work early
- Withdrawal from professional committees or organizations
- Defensive if questioned or confronted about the problem
- Poor judgment
- Observed occurrences of intoxication, drowsiness, hypersensitivity during work hours
- Deadlines barely met or missed altogether
- Frequent job changes or relocation
- Avoiding supervisor or other co-workers
Even without entering Brighton Center for Recovery’s renowned inpatient alcohol and drug treatment program, we can offer your employee or co-worker assistance with a drug and alcohol problems through these resources: Alcoholics Anonymous, a 12-step program for employees and co-workers with a desire to stop drinking; Narcotics Anonymous, a 12-step program for employees and co-workers with a desire to stop using narcotics; and Al-Anon, a support group for family members and friends of those addicted to alcohol.
Call 1-877-976-2371 for a schedule of dates and times for our meetings in the Brighton, Michigan area. Drug and alcohol problems in the workplace are a serious threat to any organization. We are equipped with the knowledge, staff and programs to assist you in neutralizing the potential damage this poses to your work environment.