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Drug and Alcohol Abuse in the Workplace

For many new employees, a review of the company policy regarding drugs and alcohol is expected during the orientation process, but it may not seem like an immediately pressing concern. The unfortunate truth is that drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace is a real concern for many business owners and employees. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 70% of the 14.8 million Americans dealing with a substance abuse issue are employed. Personal life can certainly have a bearing on work performance, but in cases of drug abuse, the decision to use can have consequences for those working with the user, creating an unsafe environment for everyone in the workplace.

Does Drug Abuse in the Workplace Actually Happen?

Yes; substance abuse in the workplace has been a cause for concern since the 1980s. Today, data studies from 2008 to 2012 show that the rate of substance abuse, for either a drug or alcohol, in the workplace rests at around 8-9% of full-time employees. Many companies actively drug test in order to reduce the presence of drugs in the workplace, but abuse may still occur. This is a problem which should be seriously discussed, as the impact of drugs and alcohol in a work environment goes well beyond employees working through a high.

What Are the Dangers of Drugs in the Workplace?

On the smallest, most innocuous scale, drug or alcohol abuse in the workplace can lead to misplaced figures, lost money, wasted time, and the physical or mental deterioration of the offending employee. However, if the work is of a dangerous nature, such as jobs which require the operation of heavy machinery, lifting, or working around chemicals or other hazards, then the consequences may extend to include the health and safety of other employees. A worker who is incapacitated or compromised by drugs or alcohol may not be as coordinated, may fail to remember basic safety checks, and may put themselves or their coworkers in harm's way.

What Can I Do If I Notice Drug Abuse in the Workplace?

In cases substance abuse, including the abuse of a drug and alcohol in the workplace, the user and those they work with could be placed at risk. Talk to the workplace manager or supervisor about the presence of either substance. If the problem is widespread, employees may be offered the chance to speak with a counselor. It may feel a bit subversive to report a fellow employee for using, especially if they're generally pleasant to work with. If you happen to be the individual engaging in substance abuse in the workplace, it's important to recognize the impact your actions have, and know that help is available if you so choose to seek it.

Admitting to the possession of a drug or alcohol problem requires no small amount of courage and commitment, and is an admirable step in the right direction. At BetterAddictionCare, our services are 100% confidential, and our company was created upon the guiding principle that all clients should be able to locate the professional, individualized treatment program they deserve. From our customized pre-screening assessment to our post-treatment support services, our team of highly trained specialists can help you find the right treatment program and walk with you every step of the way in your recovery. Call today or fill out our contact form to get help now and get sober with one of the top programs in our nationwide recovery network.

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