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Recognizing Addiction in the Workplace

a professionally dressed manager who is skilled at recognizing addiction in the workplace is reaching out to an employee who needs help

Addiction is a pervasive issue affecting all areas of life, including the workplace. Recognizing and addressing addiction in the workplace can be challenging, but it’s essential for maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. Engaging in drug abuse at work can have serious repercussions, not only for the individual but for managers and co-workers.

At Insight Recovery Center in Asheville, NC, we understand the complexity of addiction and how it affects all aspects of life, including professional life. Our comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment program can help those struggling with substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health conditions like anxiety or depression. Call 828.826.1376 to learn more about our partial hospitalization program or other services. We can help you get started on the road to recovery.

Addiction in the Workplace from the Standpoint of Company Management

Types of Addiction and Their Signs

Workplace addiction can manifest in various forms, including:

  • Substance Abuse – This includes the abuse of alcohol, illicit drugs like marijuana and cocaine, and prescription drugs. Signs may include frequent absences, unexplained injuries, or changes in behavior.
  • Behavioral Addiction – This category includes work addiction, where an individual compulsively pursues recognition and success, often at the detriment of their emotional, mental, or physical health. Signs might include excessive overtime, anxiety about taking time off, or neglecting personal responsibilities.

Management can identify these signs through regular interactions with employees, performance reviews, and by fostering an open communication environment.

Addressing Addiction

If management suspects an employee is struggling with addiction, it’s crucial to approach them in a non-judgmental, supportive manner. Confidentiality must be maintained at all times. Assistance could involve providing resources for professional help, such as counseling or treatment programs.

Impact of Addiction in the Workplace

Addiction can have severe adverse effects on the workplace, including the following:

  • Decreased productivity
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Safety hazards

Substance use disorders and/or accompanying mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, or compulsive behaviors can hurt performance for individuals struggling with addiction and their managers and co-workers, who are negatively impacted and potentially put at risk.

Addiction in the Workplace from the Standpoint of Colleagues

Colleagues often spend a significant amount of time together, making them well-placed to notice changes in behavior or performance that could indicate addiction. In addition, in many industries relying on colleagues is essential for meeting performance goals or maintaining workplace safety.

Recognizing Addiction in Colleagues

Signs of addiction in colleagues could include any of the following:

  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Memory issues, difficulty concentrating, or confusion
  • Unexplained absences
  • Decreased performance

If your colleague’s behaviors suggest that they are struggling with addiction, the best thing to do is to be supportive and offer help. Often people struggling with addiction feel ashamed or embarrassed of their situation, so it’s essential to be understanding and non-judgmental.

Addiction in the Workplace: Prevention and Support

Creating a supportive work environment is critical to preventing addiction in employees and colleagues. Encourage healthy activities like team building exercises or physical activity outside of work. Additionally, make sure that resources are available if any employee needs them. Many employers offer an EAP (Employee Assistance Program), which provides short-term counseling, help with personal and work issues, and referrals to local treatment programs.

It’s also important to be aware of the signs that an individual could be struggling with addiction so they can receive the help they need in a timely manner. Proactive support from management and colleagues is essential for maintaining a safe and productive work environment.

Reach Out to Insight Recovery Center Today

Addiction is a complex issue that can have profound negative implications in the workplace, both for individuals struggling with addiction and their co-workers. Recognizing signs of addiction early on can help prevent further damage to performance or safety issues at work.

Insight Recovery Center offers addiction treatment programs and services to North Carolina residents who are struggling with drug abuse at work—whether it is their own substance use disorder or a colleague’s.

Call 828.826.1376 or reach out online today to learn more about our programs and services. We are here to help you find healing and recovery.