Workplace Addiction - What You Should Know

Workplace Addiction - What You Should Know

Anas Bouargane 27/01/2020 2

The ramifications of addiction are far-reaching and can be disastrous if nothing is done about the problem. In addition to affecting an individual and their loved ones, alcohol and drug abuse can take a tall on co-workers and employers at workplaces. Most people that struggle with substance use disorder keep their employment. As such, many employers are affected by addiction.

Although alcoholism and drug addiction can cause disruption and chaos, this doesn’t mark the end of a story. Addiction is an issue that can be addressed by companies head-on. It can also help people move forward by becoming healthier, happier, and more productive.

Facts about Drug and Alcohol Use in Workplaces

Drug and alcohol use in workplaces can lower productivity, as well as cause physical injuries and even fatalities. This explains why male addiction specifics or women should be sought the moment an employee is suspected to have substance use or drinking problem. Some individuals may qualify as “high-functioning” even though they abuse alcohol or drugs. They can even reach professional and personal success while abusing substances.

However, being a high-functioning individual doesn’t mean a person is healthy. Addiction and substance abuse can cause workplace damage to an organization. The risk of workplace accidents increases when employees use drugs. What’s more, drinking alcohol on the job increases the risk of aggravated assault and other problems.

According to the National Safety Council, more than 20 million Americans have a substance use disorder. This implies that substance use disorder affects more individuals than cancer. The negative stigma that is attached to this disorder makes individuals fear to make their struggles known. They also try to appear normal. Nevertheless, this disorder is pervasive and it eventually affects every aspect of life, including the work of a victim.

How Workplace Addiction Affects the Economy

Most employers don’t know that alcoholism and drug addiction can affect their companies. Thus, they may not bother helping their addicted employees seek help with female or male addiction. Nevertheless, workplace addiction can affect a company in different ways. The following statistics highlight the impacts of workplace drug use and addiction.

  • The U.S economy losses between $2,600 and $13,000 per employee due to substance use disorders that are untreated. This leads to an economic loss of $400 billion per year.
               
  • The experienced economic loss is due to a reduction in work productivity, more sick days and absences, on-the-job injuries, premature retirement, illness, and health insurance claims, as well as workman’s compensation claims.       
               
  • The employees struggling with addiction miss about 34% more workdays than the other employees.
               
  • Industries that are more susceptible to substance use disorder or addiction include nursing, those with shift work, the armed forces, manufacturing, hospitality, retail, agriculture, healthcare, and emergency workers.
               
  • Among the substances that most employees abuse including opioids, alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and heroin.         

Effects of Substance Abuse on the Workplace

Performing to full potential at the workplace is difficult for an employee that is struggling with addiction. That’s because if an employee doesn’t seek help from drug or alcohol rehab for men or women, they face numerous issues.

For instance, an employee with substance use disorder is less productive and prone to higher rates of injury. They can also be more absent or require more sick days. What’s more, they develop a negative perception of the job they do. Some become less accurate and alert. They also face more problems with employers, supervisors, and managers. The quality of the work done by an employee that is struggling with substance use disorder can also drop because they become more prone to making mistakes.

The impact of addiction at the workplace can be far-reaching concerning profitability. When an employee that is struggling with addiction gets to a point of being laid off, the company has to rehire another person. The new person may require training and this can affect the profitability of a company.

What’s more, workplace addiction can affect other employees. For instance, some employees may struggle to help the person abusing alcohol or drugs complete their duties at the workplace. They may also have to cover up for the mistakes of the addict. This can lower their morale and affect the company’s performance negatively.

Signs of Workplace Drug Use

How do you tell that employees are using drugs at the workplace? How do you decide that a person should seek help from women or men-only rehab? In some cases, substance abuse at the workplace is obvious.

If it’s not, here are signs that somebody at the workplace is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction:

  • Sleeping or drowsiness on the job
               
  • Taking unusually longer periods to complete normal tasks  
               
  • Increased mistakes
               
  • Extreme or unusual mood swings
               
  • Sudden decline in personal hygiene
               
  • Repeated bathroom trips, disappearance, and going to other places to abuse drugs  
               
  • Increased absenteeism or tardiness
              
  • Missed appointments or deadlines
               
  • Apparent disappearance or theft of company valuables
               
  • Difficulty recalling instruction or concentrating

Why Employees Abuse Drugs or Alcohol

Several factors can lead to substance abuse among employees. It’s crucial to note that substance abuse among employees is not always work-related. However, some factors can lead to this problem.

They include:

  • Boredom or lack of complexity in work-related tasks
               
  • Isolation
               
  • High-stress levels
               
  • Limited or lack of work conditions control
               
  • Sexual harassment
               
  • Culture of drug or drinking acceptance
               
  • Nonexistent or lax workplace policies on substance abuse
              
  • Availability of alcohol or drugs at the place of work

Dealing with Addiction at the Workplace

Research shows that drug and alcohol use disorder is a significant and troubling problem for healthcare professionals. If not identified and treated appropriately, impairment progresses and performance at the workplace is compromised.

When workplace drug use and addiction are addressed, the struggling persons and businesses benefit. A company can address the issue by establishing a comprehensive drug use policy. It can also come up with programs for assisting and educating the employees with substance use disorder.

By assisting, a company can eradicate the stigma that is associated with addiction. It can help encourage an employee to seek help from drug rehab for men or women. Nevertheless, helping employees address the addiction issue improves the bottom line of the company.

The Bottom Line

Workplace addiction is a serious issue that should be addressed for the benefit of the company and the affected employees. Companies can address the issue using programs of reputable rehab centers that employ science-based medical knowledge.

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  • Peter Jones

    Thoughtful piece

  • Christ Oley

    Brillant read

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Anas Bouargane

Business Expert

Anas is the founder of CEF Académie, a platform that provides guidance and support for those willing to study in France. He previously interned at AlphaSense. Anas holds a bachelor degree in applied economics from the University Paris Sud.

   

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