The Reality of Workplace Addiction 

The Reality of Workplace Addiction 

Have you noticed that one of your employees are suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction?  Do you now seek support in dealing with workplace addiction?  You have come to the right place.

Workplace addictions can be fatal, especially in environments that operate heavy machinery.  As a result, employers have a duty of care to ensure that the health, safety and welfare of employees is a priority.

It is a common misconception that drug and alcohol addictions see individuals unable to function and fulfil everyday tasks.   Many also believe that those battling addictions are unemployed, but this is simply not true.

It is possible for functional addicts to hold a steady job and maintain relationships with others.   However, functionating alcoholics or drug addicts will at some point need support.  As their overall health and cognitive abilities deteriorate, they will begin to show signs of struggle and will no longer be able to keep their internal conflict private.


How to Spot Workplace Addiction?

If you believe that an employee is suffering from a workplace addiction and wish to seek professional help, we would first ask you to consider what signs you have noticed in the employee.  Often, these signs and symptoms will pinpoint how severe their addiction is and, as a result, will have an impact on the treatment they receive.

Some of the signs that may be displayed in functional addicts in the workplace may include, but are not limited to;

  • Lack of productivity
  • Decline in the quality of work produced
  • Inability to focus on simple tasks
  • Taking an increasing amount of time off of work
  • Calling in sick at last minute
  • Avoiding social environments
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • An increase in workplace accidents
  • Feeling unwell and suffering from headaches and nausea

You may also notice an increase in conflict between employees.  Conflict is common as those suffering with addictions have the tendency to become increasingly defensive, especially when questions arise regarding their workplace performance, whereabouts and health.


How to Deal with Workplace Addiction

If you have reason to believe that an employee is suffering from an addiction, there are a number of ways that you can deal with workplace addictions.  However, it is imperative to ensure that they are dealt with in the right way to prevent any escalations.

One of the first steps in dealing with a workplace addiction is to address the addiction.  This will include talking to the employee and also informing your human resources department that an addiction has been unveiled.  If you decide to express your concerns to the individual, it is crucial that you do so in a non-judgemental manner and that you show empathy.  You should avoid making accusations and stating that you, or other employees, have seen them behaving in a certain way.  This may lead the individual to feel that they are being scrutinised in the workplace and may cause them to become upset or agitated.

It is also vital to assess any factors that may contribute to workplace addictions.  If you are the employer or owner of a company, it is recommended that new policies are implemented.  These policies should communicate that anyone found to be drinking or taking drugs during working hours will face consequences.  Likewise, if you often host end of week celebrations to recognise successes achieved throughout the week, it may be worth reconsidering how you conduct these if you are aware that there is a functioning alcoholic among your team.  Hosting a drinks function, for example, will only increase the risk of binge drinking among those suffering with alcohol addictions.

As many functioning addicts will feed their addiction throughout the working day in various ways including adding alcohol to their coffee or tea, installing security cameras may be instrumental in dealing with addiction in the workplace.


What Support Can Be Offered for Workplace Addiction?

Support in the workplace can often be the only support that an employee with a drug or alcohol addiction will receive.  Likewise, employers and employees may be the only people to suspect that an addiction is present.  Functioning addicts may not display any signs of suffering with an addiction at home as they will likely feed their addiction while they are away from their home environment to prevent any conflict from arising.

At Rehab Clinics Group, we accept professional referrals from employers that have concerns regarding an employee’s health and addiction.  While employers may believe that an easy route to dealing with workplace addiction is to remove the addict, or offer them leave to recover and attend rehab, recovering from an addiction requires constant support during treatment and aftercare.

If you are referring an employee for rehabilitation, we will discuss the signs and symptoms that you have noticed in the employee in order to gauge how severe their addiction may be.  In doing so, we can ensure that we offer the right treatment programme for their personal needs.   We will then provide your employee with an inpatient rehabilitation or detoxification support programme.


What Support Is Available for Other Employees?

Workplace addiction not only impacts the individual suffering with the addiction, but it can have a lasting effect on other employees and on the overall company image.

As a result, we are able to provide training and advice to companies that equips them with the knowledge they need to deal with any workplace addictions in the future.  This training is usually offered to HR departments or senior members of staff, however, can also be offered to employees so that they are able to spot signs that a member of their team needs support.


Contact Us Today 

If you have noticed that an employee is silently suffering from a workplace addiction, we would urge you to contact us as soon as possible.  The sooner support is offered, the sooner the individual suffering with an addiction can begin their treatment.

Call us on 0800 470 0382 to aid your employees drug and alcohol recovery today.