Substance Use In The Workplace
December 8, 2017
Most employers have a zero-tolerance approach to substance use, both inside and outside the workplace. Specific fields of work involve the use of machinery that can cause serious injury to those not paying attention. In other cases, concerns over work productivity lead to policies that frown upon drug use. Whatever a company’s reasoning may be, it’s pretty safe to assume that they will not be mute on the subject of drug use among employees.
As the nation continues to grapple with the worst addiction epidemic in American history, employers find themselves in a unique position to impact substance use. As opposed to firing people for breaking company drug policy, employers can encourage their workers to seek help in a supportive way—starting with personal assurances.
When people struggle with drugs and alcohol, they make decisions that are not conducive to well being, for them self or others. Substance use disorder is a progressive illness that, over time, becomes all consuming. People with jobs have to exert significant energy in keeping up appearances, a charade that can only go on for so long before others take notice. What happens to employees after an employer notices strange behavior or a drug test comes back positive? The resulting outcome varies, and it can have a severe impact on an individual’s ability to find recovery.
Encouraging Addiction Recovery in the Workplace
When employers give workers an opportunity to recover, they are doing society a service. Those who fire employees with substance use issues add to the ever-growing problem in America. New Hampshire is a state that has been devastated by opioid addiction, and employers have realized that they can’t fire everyone for drug use.
Helping people seek recovery doesn’t just save lives, it increases overall workplace productivity. Over the course of the year, the economy loses billions of dollars because of employee substance use. A study shows that addiction in NH added up to $2.3 billion in lost productivity in 2014, WMUR 9 reports. Diverting employees to treatment could prevent some of those losses. Please take a moment to watch a short video on the subject, here.
“It’s been a fundamental change in how we look at things,” said Pete Hanson, director of talent development at Turbocam, a company that makes airplane parts. “For us, it’s become how do we approach this? Are we open-minded about finding solutions and helping people in recovery?” He added: “We want a safe environment. We want a healthy environment. Part of that is if we have employees that are dealing with substance abuse or misuse or even full-blown addiction, we want to, if we become aware of it, support them in their recovery if they’re willing to do that.”
Countless lives would be saved if employers in every state across the nation adopted a similar stance to Turbocam. As a bonus, the workplace would be safer, and companies would stave off financial losses.
Substance Use Disorder Doesn’t Warrant Punishment
If you have managed to hold onto your job in spite of substance use, it’s probably a matter of time before your employer notices. At this point, there isn’t a guarantee that your employer will be supportive of you seeking recovery; which means that you might want to consider taking the initiative and asking for time off for personal reasons. You can use that time to get out from under your disease and begin the journey of addiction recovery. Christians Drug Rehab can help you achieve the goal of lasting recovery. Please contact us today.