There is clear agreement that substance abuse—whether it’s alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs—adversely affects employers and their businesses. Some estimate the loss of productivity for U.S. employers has been as much as $200 billion annually! General concerns for safety at work, injuries on the job, theft, loss of employee morale, and costs related to absenteeism, recruiting, training, turnover, and healthcare utilization illustrate why substance abuse in the workplace is problematic. Below are some tips for dealing with substance abuse in the workplace.
10 important do’s and don’ts
1. Don’t be the ostrich. Many employers don’t want to deal with substance abuse in the workplace, so they ignore it, thinking it won’t happen to them or a policy isn’t needed. Don’t be that employer. Indeed, chronic abusers seek out employers that don’t have substance abuse policies for their workplace. Many employers also tend to ignore or enable the substance abusing employee in his behavior. If there are suspicions of abuse, rely on your workplace policy and your employee assistance program (EAP).