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What Is Substance Abuse Addiction In The Workplace? 

Alcohol and drug substance abuse in the workplace takes a significant toll on society, comprising the workplace. Every year, worker alcohol misuse costs billions of dollars to corporations in the form of lower productivity, absenteeism, legal problems, injuries, and heightened healthcare and insurance expenses. For these reasons, companies have vested attention in addressing drug and alcohol substance abuse in the workplace to protect the health and well-being of their workers as well as firm interests and profits.

How Does Alcohol And Drug Abuse Effect The Workplace?

Alcohol and drug use among workers affects the workplace, even when a worker is not actively abusing alcohol or drugs at work. As a person’s addiction to alcohol or drugs advances, more areas of functioning and health are affected, resulting in ripple effects that can start to affect their job. Four central areas are implicated by alcohol and drugs in workplace:

  • Early death, chronic health problems, and boost medical costs 
  • Heightened risk for workplace injuries, emergencies, and non-work injuries
  • Raised rates of absenteeism 
  • Impaired performance, loss of productivity, and decreased quality of work

These four central regions can result in a range of different problems for corporations and companies, including:

  • Periodic tardiness and unreliable attendance
  • Overuse of paid leave days
  • After-effects of alcohol or substance abuse in workplace influencing job performance
  • Bad decision making
  • Loss of productivity
  • All-around lowered quality of work
  • Poorer workplace connections
  • Mood and behavior difficulties
  • The trouble with concentration and attention  
  • Problematic behaviors in the workplace
  • Higher training of new workers
  • Disciplinary methods

Workplace Drug Abuse

There are several risks related to signs of drug use at work. Much like alcohol, this can lead to the same consequences, such as loss of productivity, absenteeism, and workplace injuries. Unlike alcohol, several substances can be abused on the job without supervisors or coworkers noticing. This is particularly true of drugs such as benzodiazepines, opioid painkillers, or over-the-counter medications, which frequently come in pill shape and do not have any immediate physical signs of abuse. 

Nervous system depressants like painkillers or benzos can be incredibly hazardous in jobs where people are driving. The Department of Labor in the US reports that drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace goes for 65% of on-the-job emergencies and that 38% to 50% of all employees’ compensation claims are associated with the abuse of drugs or alcohol abuse in the workplace. The situation is intensified when looking at the order of prescription drug abuse in 2017; an estimated eighteen million Americans had misused drugs in the past year. 

Signs And Symptoms Of Workplace Alcohol And Drug Abuse

As the difficulties that substance abuse in the workplace suggests, there are signs that someone may be undergoing a substance use disorder. Some of the leading indicators that a person may be abusing include:

  • Periodic tardiness with dubious excuses
  • A fall in the efficiency of work in terms of accuracy, volume, or promptness
  • Unnecessary use of sick or leave days
  • Requesting unexpected vacation days
  • Reduced personal hygiene
  • Physical indicators like smelling of alcohol, track marks, bloodshot eyes, etc.
  • Heightened error rates like accidents
  • Inexplicably asking for an increment or arguing about finances
  • Irritability, mood swings, or conduct difficulties
  • High apathy towards work or reduced quality of work
  • Bad interactions with bosses, coworkers, or clients
  • Indications of intoxication like drowsiness, jittery, cloudy thinking, slurring words, etc.
  • Markedly improved or reduced energy levels
  • Inadequate coordination or judgment
  • Indications of withdrawal like shaking or trembling hands, weight loss, sickness, etc.
  • Excuses, stealing, lying, or dishonesty
  • Asking for advance payments 
  • Losing deadlines or irresponsible performance at work

Comprehending the warning indications of substance abuse at work early can mean intervention and assistance for workers is more successful, and the danger to the business is diminished.

Treatment For Workplace Substance Abuse And Addiction 

Decreasing rates of drugs and alcohol in workplace advantages both workers and employers, building a win-win strategy for our society. People who have permanent employment are frequently stimulated into treatment when they know their jobs and income rely on it, creating more of an inducement to get help. Employers can take a crucial role in motivating employees to seek treatment through fast identification of risk components and by developing and implementing strong alcohol and drug policies. Also, delivering comprehensive advantages packages, including EAP benefits, addiction treatment, and flexible leave packets for those in treatment, can motivate employees to take medicine.

People might think about how to handle substrate abuse in the workplace environment. Some individuals may be concerned about the toll carrying time off to follow an inpatient recovery facility may take on their job. Still, more workers are authorizing wellness policies to make this simpler. ADA prevention and anti-discrimination laws also help to conserve a person’s job when taking treatment for addiction, which falls under the protections. Taking the initial steps towards enhancing your physical and mental health by seeking inpatient rehab, detox, or outpatient addiction treatment should be a prime priority for anyone striving for an addiction. To learn more about your choices, speak with an addiction adviser today.

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