How to Identify Drug Abuse In the Workplace

Certain behavioural patterns and signs can indicate possible abuse of substances by employees or colleagues. These include:

  1. Sudden mood changes;
  2. Unusual irritability or aggression;
  3. Confusion;
  4. Abnormal fluctuation in concentration and energy levels;
  5. Impaired performance of duties and responsibilities;
  6. Poor time-management;
  7. Increased frequency of short-term illnesses and absence;
  8. Deterioration in relationships with colleagues, customers or management;
  9. Dishonesty; and
  10. Theft in the office

Please remember that these signs and symptoms may also be caused by other factors such as stress, marital or family conflict.

Addressing the abuse of substances and providing assistance to employees or colleagues with substance abuse may benefit the work environment in the following ways:

  1. Saving on recruitment costs, as these employees or colleagues remain in the business following treatment;
  2. Reducing losses of absenteeism or impaired productivity of employees or colleagues;
  3. Creating a more productive environment for all employees;
  4. Creating and sustaining a positive moral culture in the office;
  5. Reducing the risk of possible injury or harm due to impairments; and
  6. Enhancing the public view or reputation of the business as informed and supportive.

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