Substance abuse can play a major role in reducing performance and morale in the workplace. In most cases, individuals with a substance abuse problem do not recognize the impact they are having on the people around them. This can cause coworkers to harbor anger and resentment toward those abusing drugs and alcohol.

Let’s take a closer look at the effect addiction and substance abuse can have on coworkers in the workplace.

What Is Substance Abuse?

Before delving into its impact, it’s important to answer this question: what is substance abuse exactly? Substance abuse is defined as overindulging in a potentially addictive substance such as drugs or alcohol. 

Abusing substances often leads to a variety of problematic behaviors. These behaviors can cause physical or emotional harm to the individual, other people, or both.

Evidence has shown that individuals in particular workplace environments are more likely to abuse substances. There is no definitive evidence that particular occupations can amplify drug abuse, but there is a growing correlation that stress may play a role. 

With this in mind, those in high-stress positions such as mining, truck driving, healthcare, construction, and the service industry have a higher rate of substance abuse.

Substance Abuse in the Workplace

Individuals who abuse drugs and alcohol often have a similar impact on their work environment. While the level of this impact may vary from person to person, they tend to follow a similar trajectory. Those who struggle with substance abuse often show signs of the following:

  • They are often late for work or have many unexplained absences 
  • Their productivity fluctuates and is often worse than that of those who do not abuse substances
  • They are fired more quickly and more frequently
  • They may steal from the company or coworkers
  • They are more likely to cause conflict with supervisors or coworkers
  • They are more likely to sustain an injury or cause injury to others in the workplace

How Substance Abuse Impacts Coworkers 

When substance abuse is present in a workplace, it often creates a volatile and unsafe work environment for coworkers. When substance abusers are untimely or do not show up for work, coworkers may be required to pick up the slack. This can cause workplace resentment to build. 

Additionally, their lack of productivity can reflect poorly on the company itself, causing unneeded stress in the workplace. This stress can be passed down to every level of the company. 

In cases where a substance abuser is fired, this creates another layer of stress and unease in the workplace. While this may boost morale in the long term, it creates more work for everyone else on the team. 

Safety is another major issue that presents itself when someone is abusing drugs and alcohol. When someone is abusing substances, it affects their judgment. This may lead to stealing and other potentially dangerous activities. Since it is common for substance abusers to cause more accidents in the workplace, this puts coworkers in unnecessary physical danger. 

Substance Abuse Evaluation: Protect Your Drug-Free Workplace with Soteria Screening Laboratories Today

Do you or your employees believe that someone in your company is abusing drugs or alcohol? If so, it might be wise to consider requesting a substance abuse evaluation.

At Soteria Screening Laboratories, we aim to help you maintain a healthy, thriving business. Without a drug-free work environment, it is nearly impossible to have a dependable and profitable business. 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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