The workplace can come with daily stresses that can lead to big problems for certain employees.
In some cases, employees may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with their problems, and this unhealthy pattern can, unfortunately, turn into a full-blown addiction.
The Dangers of Employee Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction is a common problem in the United States that affects many young adults. Based on data from the combined 2014–2015 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, 1.7 million young adults aged 18 to 25 in the United States used cocaine in the past year.1 Unfortunately, use can turn into an addiction, and this can mean serious problems for the user’s life, including when it comes to their job.
When cocaine addiction is present, it can be carried over to the workplace. Not only can it cause productivity issues for the employee who is using, but also it can start to affect other employees and the company as a whole. When someone is not completing work tasks because they are taking breaks to use cocaine, this will ultimately fall on someone else to get the work done. If the employee on cocaine is coming in late or missing work, this can also lead to others having to pick up their slack.
Ignoring the problem will only make matters worse. As the boss especially, this pattern is reason for concern because it will not only hurt the addicted employee but could also cost your company time, money, and resources. As providers of cocaine addiction treatment in Pennsylvania, we know the damage that a cocaine addiction can cause and want you to know the warning signs of cocaine use at work or an employee’s cocaine addiction.
Signs of Cocaine Abuse at Work or An Employee’s Cocaine Addiction
It can be difficult to recognize signs of someone on coke or cocaine abuse in an employee if you do not know what you are looking for. As providers of Philly PHP treatment for cocaine addicts, we are all too familiar with cocaine abuse symptoms. Below are some signs of cocaine use in the workplace that you should be looking for if you suspect an employee or coworker is using cocaine.
Taking Several Breaks
Taking a break is healthy, but if an employee is taking frequent breaks and returning to work noticeably more energetic and talkative, it could be a sign of cocaine use at work. Also, if the employee seems secretive about these breaks, this could be a red flag.
One of the first signs of employee cocaine use is that they begin to make a habit of getting to work late. They are likely so preoccupied with their cocaine addiction that they start to forget about work and come in later and later. This may also escalate to a series of unexplained absences because they are too high to come to work.
An employee addicted to cocaine will lack an appetite and most likely not eat all day. Lunch breaks seem more secluded and they will not go out to eat with co-workers. They may say they have already eaten to cover their tracks.
One of the biggest signs of cocaine addiction in an employee is nasal issues. Cocaine is usually snorted, and regular use can damage the nose. If you start to notice frequent nose bleeds or a runny nose on your employee, this can be a clear indication of cocaine use at work.
It is common for cocaine addicts to experience mood swings, especially if they are going through withdrawal and awaiting their opportunity to get their next fix. Not only is this a common sign of a cocaine addict at work, but sudden mood changes can also negatively impact the entire office and workplace culture.
Decrease in Work Performance
If work performance has declined dramatically in the past few months, this could be one of the many signs of cocaine use at work or that the employee is a cocaine addict. They may be distracted and thinking about the next time they can get high, or they may be high and their thinking could be impaired. Whether or not the employee is using cocaine at work, their cocaine addiction outside of work could still impact their performance.
Drug addictions are expensive to maintain. One of the possible signs of cocaine use in the workplace is if your employee frequently asks for advances in pay. All of their money is likely going to fueling their addiction, so paying their bills or other necessary expenses falls to the wayside. They will likely get defensive when asked about these pay advances as well.
Decline in Personal Appearance
A cocaine addict may start to slack when it comes to their personal appearance and their hygiene habits may get noticeably less routine. Signs of cocaine use in a coworker or employee may specifically include wearing unprofessional outfits, wearing stained clothing, not brushing their hair, and smelling like they have not showered.
If you notice your employee is overly confident and engaging in risky behavior, this could be a sign of cocaine abuse at work. Cocaine can lead to a boost in confidence as well as coming off cocky. Cocaine use at work could end up hurting the company if their risky behaviors carry over into the decisions they make for their job.
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.
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