By guest blogger Patrick Bailey
[July 14, 2018] Nearly 50 million Americans use illegal drugs, and around 70% of these individuals are working somewhere. What does this mean for you as a leader? That there is a good chance someone in your team is a victim of substance abuse, and falls under this category.
Obviously that person is putting themselves at a risk, and opening doors to a hurdle of problems. But what about your business? Can their issues affect your productivity, team and company in any way?
Substance abuse is costly for businesses. Though the impacts vary from case to case, higher turnover rates, low workplace morale and incidents are quite common. In terms of numbers, substance abusers can double your medical and worker’s compensation expenses.
We’ll first highlight some common signs of workplace substance abuse and then share a few tips on handling them.
What are the common symptoms of workplace abuse?
Needless to say, if you recognize workplace abuse earlier on, you can deal with the issue more effectively, minimizing the impact. The most common symptoms are
- Appearance changes
- Frequent tardiness
- Slurred speed
- Alcohol scent
- Mood swings
- Lower performance levels
How can workplace substance abuse be treated?
Reducing abuse at the workplace decreases healthcare costs and workplace injuries while boosting productivity levels. Substance addiction is regarded as a chronic condition, and just like a chronic disease, can be managed successfully through a well designed substance abuse program. But obviously, there are chances of a relapse in which case, treatment may have to be reinstated or modified.
The best drug treatment centers in US can help you come up with an effective substance abuse program that includes the following components.
- Drug testing
- Workplace policies
- Employee education and training
- Health promotion
- Assistance programs
- Treatment coverage
Screening, treatment referrals and follow-up care should also be incorporated.
An initiative should be taken to maintain a drug free workplace. Generally, a comprehensive policy includes purpose, objectives, substance abuse definition, circumstances under which alcohol or drug testing will be conducted, employees’ confidential rights and educational opportunities. The policy should also provide a guideline for dealing with and assisting impaired workers and abusers along with disciplinary actions.
Health and Wellness Programs
A workplace health and wellness program should send the message that illicit substance use isn’t condoned and that the employees can seek help without putting their jobs into jeopardy. The program should share information on appropriate use of drugs and alcohol, prevention strategies and overall wellness. Harmful health effectives of excessive usage should also be highlighted.
An employee assistance program provides information, counseling, resources and referrals on issues such as substance abuse, family and work problems, stress and other related concerns.
A health place provides coverage for counseling, therapy, aftercare and other follow-up treatments.
A typical addiction treatment plan is broken down into three stages: detoxification, acute care and continuing care, and lasts for around 90 days. Common treatment settings include inpatient care, outpatient care and residential treatment.
Launch a well-defined substance abuse program, and lead your team to deliver better performance and higher efficiency levels.