Addiction is never an isolated activity. When a person struggles with drug or alcohol abuse, it seeps in and affects every area of life. Not only does addiction change your behavior regarding substance use habits, but it changes the way you interact with family, spend money, prioritize, carry out daily tasks, engage in social circles and more.
One of the most common consequences of substance use is the effect it has on a person’s career. A drug or alcohol addiction changes your behavior at all times of day. Even if you feel that you can refrain from substance use on the clock, you may be thinking about a drug or making plans to drink later. Moreover, cravings and triggers to use will disrupt your productivity and make it difficult to focus.
Addiction in the workplace is a serious concern, whether you’re an employer or an employee. Here’s why, and what you can do about it.
How can addiction affect your life negatively?
There are many ways how addiction can affect your life and lead to unfavorable outcomes. Here are a few.
Drugs and alcohol can be a point of contention for your loved ones who may want you to decrease your use or stop completely. Addiction can come between marriages, siblings, parents and their kids and cause discord in other relationships.
The symptoms of substance use will also interfere with relationships, often causing a user to be irritable, take risks he otherwise wouldn’t or self-isolate when using a drug.
Addiction is costly, both figuratively and literally. Substance use is an expensive habit to fund, and it can lead to being behind on bills, medical expenses in case of accidents and injuries, expensive rehab programs, job issues, stealing or lying about money to others.
Many commonly abused drugs are illegal, and operating a vehicle under the influence of any substance that impairs driving can result in heavy fines, jail time or even the death of the driver or another person. Criminal charges related to drugs or alcohol could result in child custody issues or other legal ramifications.
Problematic drinking and drug use result in some serious short and long-term physical health issues. Your body could suffer from seizures, accidents and injuries, a higher risk of infectious diseases, heart and lung problems or even overdose.
Substance use is correlated with higher rates of mental health disorders. Mental illness and addiction have numerous shared risk factors and experiencing one makes the onset of the other more likely. Healing from both mental health and addiction is harder, but possible with the right treatment.
Effects of addiction at work
Sadly, addiction, despite its consequences, is very common. An estimated 20 million people in the United States suffer from a substance abuse problem, according to Cleveland Clinic. With such high rates of addiction, you’re almost guaranteed to have an employee or coworker who struggles with a substance use disorder.
The problems addiction causes in the workplace are significant. Here are a few:
- Increased absenteeism – According to Promises Treatment Centers, people who face addiction miss 10 times as many workdays as sober employees
- Decreased quality of work – Drugs and alcohol affect the brain and make it harder for employees to concentrate and complete task
- Change in appearance – Decreased interest in person hygiene is a common symptoms of substance use
- Frequent small accidents – Repeated or frequent small accidents may indicate drug or alcohol use on the job or before work
- Mood changes – Employees addicted to drugs or alcohol may be aggressive and surly in the morning, but energetic and talkative after breaks if they’ve had a chance to use
If you’ve noticed these changes in yourself or an employee, it’s time to address the concern.
How to manage addiction problems as an employer
Supporting your employees in recovery is one of the best steps you can take to invest in both their own wellbeing and your company simultaneously. The first step in demonstrating support is through participation in an employee assistance program, or EAP. These programs offer services and resources through a third-party provider.
With an EAP, your employees get specialized intervention with the confidentiality they need. EAPs can promote employee retention and company loyalty, too.
You can also educate your company’s personnel about their rights in regards to treatment for substance use disorders. Under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), a substance use disorder is a qualifying disability for which employees can seek treatment without fear of losing their jobs.
How to manage addiction problems as an employee
If you feel that substance use has affected your life or job performance in any way, now is the best time to intervene. Seeking professional treatment is your best bet to break the cycle of substance use and find fulfillment in your career and life.
In addition to seeking treatment through an EAP or through an outside provider, there are several steps you can take to ensure your security in career and life. If you’re seeking inpatient treatment, you’ll want to discuss your legal job protections with your human resources department. Moreover, you’ll want to find strategies to manage triggers at deal with stress when you’re off the clock.
Silvermist Recovery can walk with you every step of the way. Residential treatment for mental health and substance use concerns cater to your personal needs and preferences while following evidence-based treatment modalities and a holistic approach. Learn more and call Silvermist Recovery today.