Recognizing Signs and Providing Help for Addiction in the Workplace

Substance misuse is often a result of the long-term stress that people experience in the workplace. Signs of addiction in the workplace include chronic tardiness, poor performance, and a general lack of interest in work.
Many people experience burnout in today’s fast-paced, unpredictable workplace. Substance abuse is exacerbated by persistent stress.
Some employers may lack the background to recognise the warning signs of addiction in their remote workers, as the number of people working from home has increased. By keeping an eye out for these symptoms, you can help ensure a healthy and productive workplace for everyone involved.
Addiction in the workplace is a major problem that has far-reaching effects on both employees and their employers. Substance misuse among workers causes them to miss twice as much work as their coworkers and can lead to mistakes in work performance, which can have a negative impact on the company’s bottom line.
Due to the individual nature of addiction, it can be difficult to recognise the signs in coworkers, employees, or business partners. There are, however, some telltale indicators of addiction that can be observed in the workplace. South Africa is home to a burgeoning population of recovering addicts, counsellors, and specialists, making it an excellent setting for the best drug rehabs South AfricaGet in touch with us for more information on our affordable Rehab.

Sudden changes in behaviour

Workplace substance abuse can be recognised by a series of unexplained behavioural changes, including a decrease in productivity or an increase in the frequency of breaks.
Substance misuse can alter a person’s cognitive and emotional processes, which can have a negative impact on their ability to do their job.

Addiction in the Workplace: Recognizing Signs and Providing Help
Addiction in the Workplace: Recognizing Signs and Providing Help
Addiction in the Workplace: Recognizing Signs and Providing Help

A deterioration in job performance

Reduced productivity, missed deadlines, and an increase in errors are all classic professional symptoms of drug addiction. An employee’s productivity may decline noticeably if their substance usage impairs their capacity to concentrate and make sound judgements on the job.

Frequently absent or late

When accompanied by other changes in one’s behaviour, appearance, or performance, chronic tardiness or absence from work may be a sign of addiction.
Lack of time awareness due to drug and alcohol use can lead to erratic attendance, as can the act of seeking drugs, taking drugs, or recuperating from their consequences.

Irritability and mood swings

Substance abuse is connected to mood swings and irritation at work because of the profound influence substances have on the brain’s neural structure.
Substance addiction can alter brain chemistry, which can make a person unstable emotionally. Employees may take note of abrupt changes in attitude, which might impede collaboration and cause misunderstandings.

Addiction in the Workplace: Recognizing Signs and Providing Help
Addiction in the Workplace: Recognizing Signs and Providing Help

A decline in appearance

Someone who has been drinking or doing drugs may not care as much about their appearance as they would if they were sober. The lack of interest in one’s appearance that results from this can be detrimental. Substance addiction can also cause unexpected alterations in body weight.

Increasingly isolated behaviour

Employees struggling with substance misuse may isolate themselves from coworkers out of embarrassment or to keep their problem hidden.
The stigma associated with addiction, along with the desire to keep it a secret, can lead to social isolation that has a negative impact on productivity in the workplace.

A lack of interest in their work

Substance misuse can also reduce motivation and concentration, which can cause an employee to lose interest in their work. An addicted worker may also choose substance use over participating in team building or company events.

Engaging in risky workplace behaviours

Addiction to drugs or alcohol has been linked to unsafe behaviour on the job, such as breaking safety rules. Substance abuse can cloud one’s judgement, leading to dangerous behaviour that puts one and others at risk.

Understanding workplace addiction

The fact that some employees struggle with substance usage while others do not can’t be attributed to a single factor. Workplace stress, personal problems, mental health concerns, easy access to legal and illegal drugs, social situations, and other far-reaching challenges can all add up to an already stressful situation, which may increase the likelihood of substance abuse and addiction.
Substance abuse in the workplace is a major problem that has far-reaching effects on both workers and their employers. Employers can help avoid substance misuse by supporting their employees’ mental health in a number of ways. Providing services for addiction treatment is also an important part of promoting mental health in the workplace. Employees whose addictions are not as severe may be able to benefit from outpatient programmes, which often offer therapy sessions and other forms of treatment on nights and weekends.
When employees complete inpatient or residential rehabilitation for substance abuse, they should be allowed to return to their occupations.

Here are some further measures which can be taken:

Promote awareness of the consequences of substance abuse
Clearly define your rules on substance misuse.
Establish drug testing and provide access to treatment and support services
Promote frank, judgment-free discourse
Provide seminars on how to deal with stress
Make a strategy for getting back to work Provide, if possible, post-rehab work flexibility and consider involving Employee assistance programmes (EAPs).
Encourage a good work-life balance
Cultivate a setting that is accepting and encouraging

We also take a look at why aftercare is critical for long-term recovery.

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