August 17, 2022

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Advertisement The idea of a drug-free workplace has received a great deal of attention in...


The idea of a drug-free workplace has received a great deal of attention in recent years, but did you know that 10% of people suffer from addiction? 

The symptoms are not that easy to spot if you do not know where to look. Perhaps you have an employee that went from the employee of the month or year to an individual with absenteeism problems and constant inappropriate behaviour at work. Or maybe your most productive team member has become erratic to the extent of endangering co-workers and customers they interact with on the job. Situations like these most often point to addiction problems (alcohol, drugs and prescription drugs). It has been stated that employees who suffer from addiction problems are 25% – 30% less productive and miss work three times more often than their colleagues.  Essentially, it’s in the employees’ and the employers’ best interest to ensure that an addiction problem is recognised on time and is dealt with in the most effective manner possible.

Warning Symptoms 

 If you have a friend or colleague battling addiction, you may be wondering how you can assist them. Your friend will frequently have a stronger chance of overcoming addiction with your assistance. 

The solution to every problem comes with identifying the problem first, which is why a workplace drug test is necessary to identify if an employee is suffering from an addiction problem or if his behaviour is a result of a different issue in his life.

Since it is not that easy to recognise drug misuse with a naked eye, it is important to educate yourself and your team on signs and symptoms that might signal an addiction problem. While a workplace drug test is the fastest way to identify this type of problem, here are a few signs you might notice in an addict that should be followed with a test.

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  • Frequently arriving late to work without reason.
  • Making errors even with the simplest tasks.
  • The tendency to fall asleep on the job.
  • Increasing the length of their lunch breaks.
  • Using the restroom too often.
  • Struggling to make the deadlines.

They may also undergo psychological, behavioural, or physical changes. You may notice things like:

  • They are paying less attention to cleanliness than they formerly did.
  • Are antisocial, particularly if they were formerly extroverted.
  • Are more irritable or furious.
  • Show signs of pupil dilation or nose bleeding.
  • Mention suicidal ideation.
  • Make false claims about oneself.
  • Gain or lose weight unpredictably.

Remember that none of these indicators necessarily indicate a drug abuse issue. These symptoms may also indicate sadness, health concerns, or family troubles, so make sure to address each problem with care and avoid making assumptions before hearing the employee’s story.

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How To Create a Drug-free Workplace?

As an employer, you must address drug and alcohol addiction in the workplace before it spirals out of hand, and there are several key actions you can do to fix the issue immediately. First and foremost, you should have a documented corporate policy barring drug and alcohol use in the workplace. Employers should take swift and severe action against workers suspected of drug addiction. As soon as they are employed, all workers should be required to read and sign the policy to demonstrate their awareness and agreement with it. Next, a team, supervisor, or even the employer should be entrusted with monitoring drug and alcohol usage symptoms in and around the workplace and among workers.

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Creating a drug-free workplace is one way for employers to promote a healthy and productive environment. It is important to realise that drug and alcohol use among employees increases absences, illness rates, and workers’ compensation costs, so whatever efforts or sacrifices are needed to implement a drug-free working space are worth it. Also, employers must take all the needed measures and encourage employees with addiction issues to seek treatment. A drug-free program can be implemented in any industry, including the manufacturing and service sectors, and it benefits both parties: the employees and employers at the same time so it’s a win-win for everybody.