An addiction occurs when a person experiences a loss of control surrounding a particular substance. Eventually, this will have a detrimental effect on the person’s well-being and overall functioning.
The following are some noteworthy facts, which are associated with substance abuse and addiction in the workplace.
- Most people who abuse drugs and alcohol are employed.
- 76% of illicit drugs users are employed full-time or part-time.
- 60% of adults have known someone who has reported to work under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
- Drug users have increased rates of absenteeism.
- Drug and alcohol problems can cost a business hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Large companies can lose millions.
- Untreated addiction not only costs employers money, it also drives up the cost of worker’s compensation and disability. Therefore, treating the addiction is worth the financial investment.
- All businesses regardless of their size are impacted due to accidents that occur at the worksite, errors in judgement, illness, medical claims, legal claims, insurance premiums, decreased productivity, and employee morale.
Warning Signs of Substance Abuse in The Workplace
- Sudden or gradual change in work performance.
- Change in behavior that leads a manager to believe that an employee may have been using or relapsed.
- Exhibit behavior change or absenteeism on Fridays or Mondays, which may be due to binge drinking on weekends.
- Poor Concentration.
- Outbursts of anger and tearfulness.
- Calling out sick and increased lateness and absenteeism.
- The person show up for work, but doesn’t seem fully present.
- Change in health or medical status.
Coming Soon: A Case Study
Next month we will look at a case study of an employee in the workplace who appears to need help with a substance abuse issue.
Kay Gimmestad, LCSW-C is a business coach and clinician in New York City with 20 years of experience working in the profit and not for profit sectors of Human Resources, Health and Human Services. She has built a reputation for being highly skilled in facilitating behavior change while working with employees, both individually and in groups, on matters relating to performance management, substance abuse, crisis intervention, and stress/wellness.