Corporate Substance Abuse Assistance
How do I deal with an employee who I suspect is addicted to drugs or alcohol?
Corporate Rehab – Employee Drug Addiction and Employee Alcohol Abuse?
This is my take on a challenging and often emotive issue. I have been on both sides of the fence as an employee with a drinking problem and as a manager dealing with an employees drug addiction. These are my own views and in most countries employment law stipulates that procedures must be followed but in South Africa addicts are often not treated in the same way as employees with other illnesses are. Also there is a large number of casual workers and in these cases the desire or willingness to assist is down to the employer. My suggestion in these cases is to follow the tips below and as a rule, I believe everyone deserves a chance to address their addiction issues, particularly if you are fond of them and if they are a good worker. There is a kind of moral duty to your employees to handle them with compassion and understanding. weather it is employee drug addiction or employee alcohol abuse you need help with, Cape Recovery Corporate Rehab can guide you through.
Confronting the problem.
There are two ways the situation can go, either the employee comes to you when it has become too much and directly asks for help, this is the best scenario as the willingness is there, or you suspect the problem due to various signs and behaviours and approach them. When you are dealing with employee drug addiction or employee alcohol abuse, it is important to be organised in your approach and have a plan so you are ready for anything that may happen.
Often you can’t actually prove it, but the signs are there. So how do you deal with suspected drug abuse without causing embarrassment or falsely accusing? If the employees performance at work is suffering you could approach it from that perspective and ask for an explanation, this however may not work as the person would want to hide the issue and protect their job. It would plant a seed though, and if you offer assistance should there be a problem, may be effective later on.
You may not want to wait that long so what should you do to be more proactive?
My suggestions would be to:
- Look for mood changes and things like irritability, low mood or a boost following breaks or lunch where the person may be particularly talkative or energetic. The contrast in behaviour is the thing to look for.
- Look for signs that the person is not looking after themselves, un-showered, not well groomed or any change from the norm. Maybe bloodshot eyes, slurred speech or fluctuations in weight or appearance.
- Decrease in productivity, frequent sick days, again any change from the norm.
- Problems with relationships – co workers, clients etc. Maybe argumentative and irritable with people.
Any of these problems, when taken alone, can be the result of any issue in an employee’s life. It’s when you start to notice a pattern of several of these that should lead you or your managers to question what’s going on.
I would suggest that you write down any occasions when you notice any of the above, documentation is good when confronting someone as it organises the mind and highlights the patterns.
Once you have got everything documented and think you are ready to address the person you can approach them but try not to be too confrontational, like an enforcer, this is your opportunity to gain trust and show that you have their best interests at heart at the same time as stressing that the situation cannot continue.
Be calm and focussed, try not to accuse, express that you have concerns and that their work is suffering and as a result productivity which is affecting you, your colleagues, clients and ultimately your business. This is where the person either opens up and admits the problem or denies it. If they are truly struggling and you have come from a place of care then the person may be relieved and often will open up about their problem. If they deny it then you can warn them about their performance and impose sanctions such as drug testing in the future (at least you have brought it up and if it continues then it will be easier to deal with in the future). Disciplinary action may be necessary but at least you have approached with evidence and offered assistance, until a person is ready to accept help it is very difficult.
Explain that you’ve noticed a problem and have consulted professionals to confirm your suspicions. And then attack the problem from the angle that, first and foremost, you want to help the person.
Be available for the person to come back and speak to you, they may need some time to think.
From that point, it is up to them. You can offer them help through our Cape Recovery Corporate Rehab package, offering support and seamless rehab access.
If the person doesn’t respond properly and performance or on-the-job behavior becomes an issue, you can deal with that under policies and disciplinary rules. But you’ll know that you did your best to keep the problem from getting to that point.
We can arrange an intervention with a qualified professional if you require for any confrontation.
As long as the person can be allowed time off for a period in rehab, then we can take care of the rest so contact us and we will be happy to help. Our corporate rehab packages for employee alcohol abuse and employee drug addiction, are all-inclusive with no extra charges. For clients from the UK and Abroad, follow the link , we can arrange everything and even pick them up from the airport!
At CapeRecovery we understand employment drug and alcohol issues from both sides so our Corporate Rehab scheme for Employee Drug Addiction and Employee Alcohol Abuse is sensitive to the situation and very low key and confidential so Contact Us today.