What To Do When You Suspect Addiction In The Workplace
Addiction impacts all aspects of a person’s life. For a drug addict or an alcoholic, life revolves around getting a fix and chasing a high. Home life and personal life are often the first to suffer while many addicts are able to keep it together at work. Eventually, however, workplace performance will begin to suffer as well. It may get to the point at which you, as a coworker, boss, or employee, begin to notice that something isn’t right. So what do you do?
What If My Boss Is Drinking Or Abusing Drugs?
When you have a problem at work, you usually turn to your boss for help, right? So what happens when you suspect she is an alcoholic or a drug addict? First, be aware of the signs of drug abusebefore you jump to conclusions. Signs that someone is struggling with addiction usually include significant changes. You may be suspicious if your boss, who is normally reliable, has begun showing up late for work or is missing appointments. Relationships may change as well. Your boss may become more short-tempered with everyone or detached from the rest of the office if she is abusing substances. Addiction also shows up in more obvious ways, such as the smell of alcohol, signs of inebriation, bloodshot eyes and tremors.
If you suspect your boss is abusing drugs or alcohol, you should tread carefully. The best way to try to help your boss and protect yourself is to alert human resources. Your comments will be kept confidential so that there are no repercussions for you later. You may feel like you have a good relationship with your boss and that you can approach her about this, but beware; if she does have a problem, she may be in denial and may take it out on you. Help her, but protect yourself as well.
How Do I Handle A Coworker Using Drugs?
Confronting drug abuse or excessive drinking in a coworker may be a little different than when you suspect your boss. You may feel more comfortable approaching a coworker to have a discussion about your concerns. If you have a close relationship with this person you can talk to him about your concerns. Offer your help and support and be prepared to give it. If you are not comfortable with confronting this coworker you can, as with your boss, approach human resources instead. You should never feel like you have to cover for this person’s shortcomings or be subjected to any inappropriate behavior because of his problems. Your human resource department can help you in these situations and will keep your comments in confidence.
What If I See Someone Putting Others At Risk?
If you work in a typical office setting, a coworker or boss who abuses drugs or alcohol may not cause immediate dangerous consequences. However, there are plenty of work situations in which a person under the influence could cause great harm. For instance, a doctor or nurse or someone who operates machinery could seriously injure or even kill someone while inebriated.
In these situations it is essential that you shed light on the problem immediately to avoid accidents and harm. It is your responsibility to speak up if you see a coworker or your boss putting others at risk. If you cannot confront the person yourself, tell a supervisor or human resources right away. Not only will you be preventing immediate damage, but you will also be helping the addict in the long run.
Do Some Businesses “Reward” Drug Abuse? Find Out Now!