The people who require admitting to a drug rehab program come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Not all are the archetypal “down on their luck junkies” that the movies tend to depict. Instead many of the individuals in drug rehab are in professional roles, including lawyers and accountants, and others are in gainful employment.
A business and drug addiction raise many issues including what level of support is given to employees by employers when drug addiction occurs, and the impact that drug abuse can have on a business. Whilst supporting employees is a positive attitude to take by employers, the negatives that drug use can have also need to be considered.
For example, just an employee who suffers from drug addiction can cause not just for the business as a whole, but other individuals working within that business. Some relate to that individual’s ability to do their job properly, some are behavioural, and ultimately there are those which can create extremely serious consequences. First, let us look at some problems from drug addiction affecting how the person fulfils their role.
- Reduction in productivity/output
- Errors and mistakes
- Poor decision making
- Increased lateness and absenteeism
- Working to lower standards
- Losing important documents
- Missing deadlines
- Missing or late for meetings
In truth, any of these can happen even if a person is not taking drugs, and for a variety of reasons, however, when drug addiction is a problem for someone, it can first manifest itself at work when these problems arise.
Now let us look at how drug addiction can impact the workplace and specifically other employees
- Lowering of morale
- Increased disagreements with colleagues
- Others have to cover for them
- Showing disrespect to others
- Not following instructions from supervisors/managers
- Poor supervision of those they are responsible for
- Heated arguments or fights
Finally, here are some of the worst consequences of an employee in the workplace having a drug addiction
- Taking drugs on the premises
- Meeting drug dealers on the premises to buy drugs
- Other employees being encouraged to buy/use drugs
- Theft both from the business and their colleagues
- Fraud to illicit financial gain
- Increased risk of accidents = harm to themselves or others
Whilst none of the problems you could experience in your business are welcome, it is that final one that should resonate. Whilst drugs obviously do great harm to the person taking them, the possibility of them causing an accident that harms others whilst under the influence of drugs is one you hope you never have to deal with in your business.
We hasten to add that such incidents are extremely rare, but they do occur. It is at this point the question of whether the investment of a drug awareness program for your employees, including a policy of openness and support for those who need it, is an investment that is worth making. It may not bring the same ROI as investing in a new IT system, new machinery, or a media advertising campaign, but consider how much it might save you both in monetary terms and angst.
Your workplace drug program might not eliminate every issue we have listed, but it would surely curtail them, and mean that they do not become prolonged problems that are harming your business. Instead, it allows your employee to get the help they need, and your business to avoid costs and consequences that could accrue if they do not.