Substance Abuse in the Workplace
Drug abuse and alcohol abuse are more common in the workplace than most realize, and so many people end up coping with stress in unhealthy ways.
Work responsibilities can get hectic. Unfortunately, this can lead to substance abuse when individuals do not know how to handle stressful situations, or they feel they have no outlet to release this tension. Addiction in the workplace can affect the entire team, and co-workers will need to pick up the slack from somebody who can not function at the same level prior to the addiction. There are many signs that can point to addiction, and it’s important that an individual receives help before it’s too late and their world turns upside down. According to the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, approximately 70 percent of the estimated 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs are employed. Our addiction treatment center in Philadelphia discusses the common workplace addictions that can happen in any industry. Becoming aware of these can help individuals get the help and guidance they need to recover.
Drinking occasionally with your co-workers for a happy hour event or a work function does not constitute as alcoholism in the workplace; however, there are certain warning signs to look out for when this can turn into a problem. Co-workers who drink alcohol during their lunch break on a daily basis or those who start their day off with a drink may be suffering from a larger issue. An intervention may be necessary if their daily responsibilities start to become neglected. Alcoholism in the workplace can cause a major shift in the entire team’s productivity and energy levels.
People get prescribed certain medications for anxiety or pain all the time; however, when they start to misuse them and take a larger dose each time, an addiction can occur. If there is tension or higher stress levels than normal in the work environment, people will turn to their medications, such as Xanax, to cope with the stress. These effects can be highly detrimental in the workplace. Taking pills every day at work because you feel you need them to properly function is a serious issue, which can easily spiral out of control.
If you suspect that your employee or co-worker is suffering from addiction, it’s important to address the situation before it is too late. Reaching your hand out to help and support them is exactly what they need.