Studies show that over 40 million people in the United States over the age of 12 struggle with addiction or substance abuse problems. That equates to over 8% of the country’s population. While addiction can have a profound impact on someone’s ability to function, over 70% of addicts in the US are employed.

Addiction is one of the most insidious diseases in our country today. It impacts a person’s physical health, mental health, friends, family, and co-workers. Here are 8 signs to look for and offer solutions for addiction in the workplace. 

Signs of an Addicted Employee

Individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are often unpredictable. This unpredictability can have a major negative effect on company morale, profit margins, and customer service. It is quite common for active addicts to exhibit these 8 troublesome behaviors:

  • Missing work or leaving work unannounced
  • Showing signs of poor physical health, including showing withdrawal symptoms 
  • Mood swings or emotional volatility
  • A clear loss of productivity or inconsistent productivity 
  • Accidents or preventable mistakes  
  • Suspicious behavior like attempting to sell or purchase drugs from a co-worker
  • Unnecessary risk-taking that could potentially harm the company
  • A clear lack of focus or the appearance of “nodding off” or falling asleep at work

While some individuals struggling with substance abuse show clear signs of their disease, others may appear to be “high functioning.” A high-functioning alcoholic or drug addict may be able to maintain productivity in the workplace but often show other more subtle signs. These signs may include:

  • A more disheveled appearance or poor hygiene
  • Regular excuses about their appearance or frequent reports of vague illnesses
  • Regularly talking about problems at home or money problems
  • Strange or inappropriate comments during meetings or workplace activities

Solutions for Addiction in the Workplace

Fortunately, there are a variety of potential solutions for addiction in the workplace. While people cannot be forced into long-term sobriety, it is possible to recover if the individual is willing to explore treatment options. 

Inpatient Treatment

For individuals who require acute attention and care, inpatient treatment may be advised. An inpatient treatment program requires an employee to live in a recovery treatment facility for an allotted amount of time. This is to ensure that they receive medical and mental health care without the risk of relapse. It also offers a safe place for an individual to detox from an addictive substance. 

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment offers similar care to inpatient treatment. However, the patient does not need to stay at a facility 24/7. These programs are designed for individuals with a milder form of addiction that does not require intense detoxification. Choosing an outpatient treatment program may also allow employees to continue working without disruption. 

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous 

For nearly 100 years, AA and NA have offered solutions to individuals struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction. They are a fellowship of men and women who support each other to reach sobriety. AA and NA do not cost anything, but the fellowship accepts donations from members.

Addiction at Work: Protect Your Drug-Free Workplace with Soteria Screening Laboratories Today

Addiction at work is an epidemic in the United States. Ensuring a drug-free workplace is essential to any successful business.

At Soteria Screening Laboratories, our mission is to help you maintain a healthy, thriving business. Without a drug free work environment, it is nearly impossible to have a dependable and consistent team. At Soteria, we will assist you in developing a drug and alcohol testing program that meets your specific needs.

Are you ready to optimize your business and establish integrity in the workplace? Contact Soteria Screening Laboratories today!

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