The days of the “Mad Men” style martini-laced business lunches are a thing of the past… right?
Once upon a time it was very common for an executive to have their corner office outfitted with a liquor cabinet. Back then, those mahogany-lined executive suites were incomplete without an array of crystal carafes brimming with bourbon or gin. At the very least, a bottle of something stashed inside a desk drawer was not at all uncommon.
During the last few decades, the workplace has cleaned itself up, with most companies now enforcing zero tolerance policies for substance use on the job. Alcoholic beverages are no longer a staple of business lunches, and many companies now require mandatory drug or alcohol testing as part of the hiring process.
Under the Influence at Work
However, the reality is that there is still a significant problem with substance abuse in the American workplace. In fact, according to a report published by the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), 24% of workers report drinking during the workday at least once in the past year. Further, Breathalyzer tests detected alcohol in 16% of employees injured at work. Prescription medications, such as Xanax, Valium, Adderall, or Vicodin are commonly abused as well.
Although most employees refrain from actively using drugs or alcohol while at work, those with a substance use problem will likely have a negative impact on productivity. High absenteeism, lack of focus on performance goals, coming to work hung-over, and workplace accidents are costs contributed to employees with a substance use disorder, whether or not they actively engaged in it on the job. Indeed, the NCADD report notes that 70% of current illegal drug users are employed full-time.
What Are the Signs of Workplace Substance Abuse?
While many people manage to keep their problem with drugs or alcohol neatly hidden from coworkers or superiors, there are some signs that may belie these efforts. Here are 8 signs that someone is under the influence at work, or is struggling with a substance use disorder:
- Hand tremors. Someone with a moderate to severe alcohol use disorder who is attempting not to drink while at work will often experience withdrawal symptoms, including hand tremors.
- Odors. The distinct odor associated with alcohol or weed is detected when someone is actively using these substances during work hours.
- Withdrawing. Someone with an active substance use disorder may begin to isolate themselves more at work, or avoiding work-related events, in an effort to avoid detection of the signs of drug or alcohol use.
- Disheveled appearance. Someone with a deteriorating substance use disorder will begin to ignore personal appearance and hygiene, appearing unkempt at work.
- Taking lots of breaks. Excessive trips to the restroom may be an indication of cocaine abuse, or of withdrawal symptoms that include nausea and vomiting.
- Declining performance. Includes being uninterested in fully participating in job duties, excessive absenteeism, being unprepared for meetings or presentations, and a general lack of effort to complete assignments or projects.
- Accidents. Drugs and alcohol impair coordination and cognitive functioning, which can result in workplace accidents and injuries.
- Aggressive behavior. Belligerent behavior at work is a sign of intoxication that can result in verbal, physical, or sexual assault.
In addition to these overt signs of substance use disorder in the workplace, there are peripheral effects that can impact employee morale, including:
- Resentment can begin to fester towards a coworker who is not pulling their weight on the job due to their substance abuse problem.
- People may begin gossiping about the individual, spreading rumors and negatively affecting workplace culture.
- An employee’s addiction may result in illegal activities, such as buying or selling drugs at work, or crimes like embezzling from the company.
Individuals struggling with a substance use disorder will benefit from a company that provides accommodations for them to receive treatment for the substance use disorder. As a result, the company will benefit when the employee in recovery is fully engaged on the job, present and productive. This is a win-win solution for both the company and the individual in need of professional treatment.
Ashley Addiction Treatment is dedicated to helping individuals achieve their long-term recovery goals. For more information about our luxury rehab program, please reach out to our team at (866) 313-6307.