Many people with drug or alcohol abuse issues are masters at hiding their addiction until their life spins out of control. But someone you work with could need the support of an alcohol or opioid addiction treatment program. Knowing how to recognize addiction in the workplace will help keep your coworkers and your place of business safe.
At Blueprint Recovery Center, our range of programs, such as alcohol or opioid addiction treatment, can give people the tools they need for long-lasting recovery. If someone you work with might benefit from treatment to overcome drug or alcohol abuse, reach out to our Blueprint Recovery Center team today by calling 833.654.1004 or reaching out to us online.
Understand the Signs of Addiction in the Workplace
Suspecting that a coworker has an addiction problem puts you in a difficult position. You want to help, but should you get involved if that person hasn’t asked for help? Thankfully, most workplace settings now acknowledge that drug or alcohol abuse is a disease that needs treatment, not a sign of personal weakness.
Companies typically have policies and procedures in place to help employees who are struggling with addiction. If you’ve noticed a coworker acting out of character, a substance use disorder could be the problem.
Common signs that indicate addiction include:
- Being late to work frequently
- Acting unusually tired or even falling asleep at work
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Taking longer lunch breaks
- Disappearing when they should be working
- Using up all of their sick days
- Making an unusual number of trips to the bathroom
- Lying frequently
It’s best not to jump to conclusions, even if these signs are present. Almost all of the warning signs could also indicate that the person is coping with family or personal problems, health issues, or other mental health challenges such as depression.
When Do You Intervene if You Suspect Drug or Alcohol Abuse?
When and how you discuss your concerns depends mainly on your relationship with your coworker. A supervisor or employer can address issues that relate to work performance without crossing personal boundaries. A friend can reach out and share their concerns. As a coworker, the best approach may be to ask questions.
Never accuse a coworker or bring up the issue of drugs or alcohol abuse, especially if you don’t have a personal relationship with the person outside of work.
Instead, try asking direct questions such as:
- “I’ve noticed you seem tired a lot lately. Are you feeling alright?”
- “You’ve been having trouble getting to work on time. Would you like to carpool?”
- “You seem distracted at work. Is there anything I can do to help?”
Questions like these open up a line of communication. If your coworker wants to talk to someone about their substance use, you have provided an opportunity for them to do so. If not, let them know you’re available for support if they change their minds.
Conversations that sound like shaming or blaming will be unproductive. Make sure that the person understands you are concerned about their well-being and want what’s best for them.
A functioning addict, one whose addiction has not yet taken over their life, may not even be aware they have a problem. They are still coming to work, earning a paycheck, getting the kids to school in the morning, and meeting other life responsibilities. This sense of normalcy can present a problem when it comes to encouraging treatment.
Find Help for Addiction in the Workplace at Blueprint Recovery Center
At Blueprint Recovery Center, we understand that addressing addiction in the workplace is a sensitive issue. An employee or coworker with substance use disorder may fear losing their jobs or the respect of their coworkers. For more information about our addiction treatment programs, call Blueprint Recovery Center at 833.654.1004 or fill out our online contact form.