How to Handle Substance Abuse in Your Employees

How to Handle Substance Abuse in Your Employees

Being the boss is hard work. Whether you’re the owner and/or operator of your entire work organization or whether you’re the manager of a certain group of employees, you have a lot of responsibilities. It is your job to keep each of your employees productive and safe while at work. If one or more of your employees is abusing drugs or alcohol, however, that’s easier said than done.

An addicted or substance-abusing employee can often prove dangerous to himself or to others. Plus, employees who struggle with addictions or substance abuse problems are more likely to miss work and are generally less productive while on the job, costing the company money.

So, as the boss, what are you to do if you suspect one of your employees is abusing or addicted to drugs or alcohol?

Know the Signs

First things first, as an employer, it is your responsibility to be aware of some of the signs and symptoms of a potential substance abuse problem. Obviously, you can’t put an end to substance abuse in the workplace if you aren’t aware that it exists. While the signs of substance abuse are not always obvious, there are a few things you can look out for, including:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Smelling of alcohol
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Regularly being late for work
  • Frequently leaving work early
  • Excessive absences
  • Low productivity

While no one of these signs is enough to know for sure that a person has a substance abuse problem, noticing several of them is a fairly good indicator that a problem exists. Employers can know for sure if their employers are abusing drugs and/or alcohol by mandating regular, random drug and alcohol tests.

Know Your Rights

Your first instinct, when you discover that an employee is abusing drugs or alcohol, may be to fire that person, but don’t act too quickly. It is important that you understand employment laws for your state and that you determine whether or not you can legally fire the person and what kind of proof you will need, if any, to do so. Also be aware of what your company policy is on drug and alcohol abuse; many companies have a strict no-tolerance policy in regards to substance abuse.

Finding Help

More and more employers are now making treatment options available to their employees who have drug addictions or who suffer from alcoholism. If nothing else, it is often the most cost-effective option for a valuable employee with years of experience, industry knowledge, and training. For more information about our executive addiction treatment programs here at Alta Mira, call now.