Written for Daily Hive by Tristan Elliott, a third-year BBA student who currently works in the treatment industry. He is passionate about issues affecting the local community, economy and Canada as whole.
According to Statistics Canada, over 21% of Canadians suffer from a substance-use disorder at some point during their life. It’s not uncommon like you might think. There is little doubt that workplace productivity, morale and culture are all significantly affected by drug and alcohol addiction. A healthy workforce leads to a healthy workplace.
For employers, it is often difficult to differentiate between someone who is a social user and someone who has a problem, not to mention whether or not it’s even anyone’s business.
People who are in the midst of addiction often feel trapped, worry about stigma, and continually convince themselves that they’ll “fix it tomorrow.” They are alone, and the ability to make a change often depends on some sort of intervention.
Helping your employee or co-worker is good for the organization, good for society, and most of all good for the impacted individual and their family.
Here are some ways to spot addiction in the workplace:
1. Physical Indicators
When people are healthy and in a good place, they take care of themselves.
Classic warning signs of someone who no longer has the ability or desire to function at their regular capacity are significant weight loss, an unshaven face, cessation of make-up or hairstyling, and consistent overly casual dress. Addiction always affects appearance.
2. Absenteeism, Punctuality & Productivity
If your employee is consistently showing up late, missing days without an excuse, or calling in sick more than normal, there is a strong chance that they’re struggling with something.
If you know an individual completes a set amount of work over a certain period of time, and all of a sudden they’re no longer able to produce at the same rate, you should be concerned.
Don’t turn a blind eye if deadlines start getting missed with regularity.