Signs Of Addiction in The Workplace & How You Can Help Your Employees
Addiction in the workplace is an issue that a significant number of employers have to deal with. Nearly 12% of people over the age of 12 have used an illicit drug within the past month. Substance and alcohol abuse in the workplace will affect every aspect of working life, from office dynamics to absences, productivity levels, injuries and even fatalities.
As an employer, you obviously need to take all reasonable measures to prevent substance abuse in the workplace. You might need to impose some punitive measures to deal with employees that are drinking alcohol or using controlled substances at work.
However, you can’t take an approach that entirely revolves around punishing employees. You must also recognize that addiction is a disease. You must take steps to help employees that have these problems. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done.
Thankfully there are signs and symptoms that an employer and fellow employees, for that matter, can look out for. This, in turn, can help with finding addiction treatment for an employee or colleague.
Signs & Symptoms Of Substance Abuse
Signs and symptoms won’t always be easy to detect and can often arise from conditions, illnesses and even lifestyle choices that are in no way related to addiction. For example, just because an employee appears with bloodshot eyes doesn’t mean they have an addiction. It could simply mean they have been working for too long. However, someone with addiction will show multiple signs and symptoms over a prolonged period. These signs and symptoms will include but aren’t limited to:
- Excessive absences. This may establish a pattern over time, such as Monday mornings or after paydays. New York University reports that this is one of the biggest signs of substance abuse.
- Changes in appearances such as appearing dissolved or lacking in personal hygiene.
- Physical symptoms may include tremors, shaking, dilated pupils, a lack of balance or staggering. You may even notice sweaty palms or a somewhat spaced-out look/appearance.
- Mood swings can happen, resulting in withdrawing from usual activities, seeming paranoid, irrational or even short-tempered.
- Those suffering from addiction may begin to display inappropriate behavior, becoming loud or obnoxious.
- More trips to the bathroom or even running to their car for things.
- Struggling to stay awake, even sleeping at work.
You must also recognize that addiction is a lot more prevalent in some professions than others. You should read this list of the five most stressful careers that lead to addiction. You will have a better understanding of the level of risk that your own employees might be facing.
How You Can Help Your Employees
Thankfully, there are ways that employers can help their employees suffering from addiction, whether it’s drug addiction or behavioral addiction. Thanks to Workplace Training and Continuing Professional Development training (CPD training), employers can now ensure they’re not only helping their employees struggling with addiction but can put policies and procedures in place to ensure their place of work has the necessary knowledge and, more importantly, the support to help you when you need it most.
Infinity Addiction is an addiction specialist providing workplace training and addiction rehab in the UK. As well as Substance Misuse In The Workplace and Alcohol In The Workplace Training, Infinity Addiction also provides specialist and wellbeing courses in the form of Stress Identification & Management training, Well-Being In The Workplace and even Sleep & Performance Training.
Contact The Experts
For more information on how Infinity Addiction can help you and your employees through their specialist partner company Optimal Minds, we recommend calling 0800 334 5541 today.