Facing The Abuse of Drugs in The Corporate World

Corporate people at risk for abuse of drugs

Junkies, prostitutes, homeless, scattered needles – these are the images that come up in our minds when thinking about drug addiction. Addiction affects nearly everyone – either directly or as a person affected by another’s substance abuse.

Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, doctors, veterans, teachers, bosses, employees, co-workers – these are the titles that also fit the image of a person struggling with substance abuse. Most of the time, we are not even aware that someone we know is facing such life obstacle. People tend to believe that those with addiction are easy to spot because their lives are collapsing and destructing around them. However, the established stigma around the drug abuse is what prevents the employees and coworkers to seek help and openly talk about their problem.

The Dunes East Hampton Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the Workplace Infographic

Working “Functioning” alcohol and drug addicts

A ‘functioning addict’ can be defined as someone who is considered successful in life yet hides the excesses of their alcohol or drug use. An example of this would be an alcoholic or drug addict who might have a good job, a secure home life and be respected in the community. You might probably think, “This ‘person’ is more successful than I am. How could he/she possibly have an addiction?” That’s the point. Conventional stigmas in the workplace do not accurately portray a person with an addiction. Only when an employee’s addiction spins out of control (which it will eventually), then his/her struggles become apparent to others.

Of course, many will try to go great lengths to hide the symptoms and signs of their self-destruction because they want to avoid being labeled with the stigma of addiction. And it is understandable. While addiction and its symptoms are multi-faced, many of us still see this disease through a single lens – the one that usually depicts a person as either immoral or too defective to live a fully-functioning human life.

Drugs in the workplace

Employees are the company’s grease asset. They play a vital role in the company’s success. But what happens when these employees are caught in the deadly trap of illicit drug and/or alcohol consumption?

The statistics speak for themselves.

According to the facts from 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:

  • Of the 22.4 million of current illicit drug users aged 18 or older, 15.4 (68.9 percent) were employed either full or part time
  • For employed adults, aged 18 or older, the rate of alcohol use was higher (65.8 percent) as compared to unemployed adults (53.8 percent)
  • Most binge and heavy alcohol users were employed. Out of 58.5 million adult binge drinkers, 44.5 million (76.1 percent) were employed full or part time. Out of 16.2 million heavy drinkers, 12.4 (76.0 percent) were employed.

It should be of a great concern for employers to address this health issue appropriately and compassionately. Hiding an addiction can be more costly to business or company than having the employee seek and receive help for it right away.

For instance, a single addicted employee creates problems for:

Employers: According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, drug abuse costs employers $81 billion annually.

Coworkers: absences, withdrawal from responsibilities, concentration difficulties, excessive breaks during work hours, often poor decision-making adds more workload on the shoulders of colleagues. They have to work longer hours and sometimes face odd behavior of their struggling coworker.

Family: family members are the first ones to bear the consequences. An addiction brings in negativity and impacts everyone’s personal and professional lives.

Workplace: when everyone shows up on time daily and do a great work, there is a sense of community among the employees. When everyone puts in the same effort, there is a sense of unity in the office.

An employee struggling with addiction can bring more stress among the co-workers, therefore lowering the group productivity and slowing down the enthusiasm.

Spotting the Signs of Addiction at the Workplace

Workers taking abusing drugs to relieve anxiety.

Often, addicts are experts at lying and hiding their tracks, which is why they can be tough to be spotted in the workplace even when bosses and co-workers are on the lookout for clues. Nevertheless, there is a number of visible signs that can indicate a substance abuse problem in an employee. While none of these signs is a proof of anything by itself, if a worker shows two or more of these behavioral characteristics, the chance that this person is overindulging in drugs or alcohol is fairly substantial.

According to the Forbes article about workforce addiction, the most prominent signs of abuse include:

  • Frequent tardiness or unexplained absences
  • Inconsistent on-the-job performance
  • Frequent small accidents resulting in minor injuries or broken objects
  • Unusual physical symptoms or behaviors (unsteady gait, hyperactive/manic activity, sudden weight loss, dental problems, wearing long sleeves on hot days, etc.)
  • A sudden lack of concern over personal appearance and hygiene
  • Paranoia or overreaction to criticism or helpful suggestions
  • An unwillingness to talk about hobbies, family life, or personal interests in someone who was forthcoming before
  • Lower levels of productivity in the morning; a general sluggishness when first reporting to work
  • Bloodshot eyes, or bags under the eyes indicating a lack of sleep

Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center: Helping Employees in the Addiction Battle

If you know someone who you think needs help abandoning harmful habits, consider taking this person to The Dunes East Hampton drug and alcohol rehab center. It has more than 350 years of collective sobriety. Their management and clinical staff members know, from their own experience, the fears, anxieties, and resistance that drug and alcohol addicts face when confronted with having to go into a recovery facility.

Unlike other treatment facilities, The Dunes rehab treatment in NY is designed to address the unique needs of executives and other professionals with demanding careers. For people in highly visible roles, where reputation is everything, The Dunes respect their privacy and care about the clients’ discretion. Unlike other facilities that cut residents off completely from the outside world during rehab, The Dunes allows outside contact during certain times to take care of urgent business.

For more information, visit their website.


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