Did you know that over 20% of people use addictive substances while working? Alcohol is at the top of the list, while marijuana comes second. Another report shows that over 70% of substance abusers are employed.
While substance abuse is a chronic issue negatively affecting businesses, companies may actually be contributing to its prevalence. Numerous elements at the workplace can push an employee to use illicit drugs, including stress, fatigue, toxic culture, and undue pressure from superiors.
Fortunately, businesses can help their workforce avoid substance abuse with the following five tips:
1. Understand the Signs
Like any potential problems in the workplace, there will be tell-tale signs of substance abuse among employees. The key is to catch these signs earlier to prevent it from becoming a more serious issue. Doing so will also allow you to provide your employee or colleague adequate support.
Here are the most common indicators of substance abuse in the workplace:
Substance abuse severely impairs a person’s ability to work. They can make frequent mistakes, miss deadlines, become sluggish and even fall asleep on the job. They may also have difficulty concentrating, which can cause a significant drop in their overall productivity and performance.
Individuals suffering from addiction frequently arrive to work late or fail to show up at all. Addictive substances like opioids can drain users of energy and make them drowsy. This can make them sleep through their alarm or feel lazy to go to work.
Personality and Behavioral Changes
Personality and mood changes have several causes, including stress and anxiety. However, dramatic behavioral changes — such as aggression, paranoia, and extreme isolation — indicate an employee may have addiction issues.
Deterioration of Physical Appearance
This is the most obvious indicator of substance abuse. Alcohol and drug addicts will have a significant change in their appearance. They may gain or lose weight and have bloodshot eyes or paler skin. In more severe cases, they are disinterested in their hygiene and grooming.
2. Foster a Culture of Well-Being
Generally, companies with a healthy culture are less likely to have issues with employee substance abuse. By cultivating healthy work arrangements, good relationships between co-workers, and supportive company policies and practices, businesses can better support everyone’s well-being. This can boost their morale, increase productivity, and prevent common risk factors that can lead to addiction.
3. Build Awareness Through Education
To help employees cultivate a healthy lifestyle, businesses can provide awareness seminars that tackle addictive substances. You can discuss the different types of triggers, symptoms, health risks, and the negative effects of addiction on a person’s professional and personal life. A well-planned awareness program can help employees become more proactive when such issues arise and contribute to a healthier workplace.
4. Offer Support Programs
Aside from building awareness, employers should offer numerous corporate programs prioritizing employees’ health and well-being. For instance, you can conduct monthly counseling to check your staff’s emotional health. You can also encourage regular social activities such as team dinners or get-togethers to build camaraderie outside work.
5. Hold Mental Health First Aid Training
Mental health problems are a significant driver of substance addiction. In particular, chronic stress can cause changes to one’s brain chemistry and prevent the body from feeling good, balanced, and rested. Since alcohol and many illicit drugs can trigger a person’s happy hormones, they become even more addicting.
As such, training your staff in mental health first aid is important. You want to ensure that whenever someone in the workplace struggles with their mental health, co-workers know what to do and how to help them. When employees know how to provide urgent care and robust support to one another, mental health issues — and triggers for substance abuse — can be minimized.
Combat Addiction in the Workplace With The Detox and Treatment Helpline
While addiction is a complex health issue with multiple possible drivers and triggers, ensuring toxicity-free workplaces will go a long way in preventing it. If you need more help strengthening your company programs to fight against substance abuse, consult The Detox and Treatment Helpline! Our experts provide educational support to help employees understand and overcome mental health issues and addiction. Give us a call today at 877-314-2934!