Addiction in the workplace is a problem most employers will face at some point.
- What is a “functioning alcoholic”
- How to help a colleague with an addiction
- How to deal with addiction in the workplace
- Responsibilities as an employer
- Advice to organisations
- Asking your boss for time off to attend rehab
- Support for employers
- Alcoholism at work
- Cocaine – the invisible addiction
Approaching someone about an alcohol or drug problem is daunting for any manager or colleague. However the sooner the problem is addressed, the sooner help can be found. The following steps will make the process easier on both manager and employee:
- Learn what your responsibilities are as an employer
- Early recognition – know the signs and symptoms of addiction;
- Explain that addiction is a disease, not a moral weakness or a or lack of willpower;
- Early intervention – help at an early stage can save an employee’s health, family and career. By the time alcoholism and drug addiction is visible in the office, it is already causing problems at home;
- Persuasion – a flexible, caring approach. Begin by expressing concern and expect denial and defensiveness;
- Present the facts – don’t say “I think you drink too much”, instead say “I smelled alcohol on your breath before the client meeting’;
- Employees should be made aware of the effects their drug taking is having in the office, on their colleagues and on the company;
- Use leverage where possible – It may be necessary to say that continuing employment depends on the ability to resolve their problems. But that you will support them if they accept help;
- Offer information and professional help – give them details of the Company Doctor, counsellor or a nearby GP; gather contact details of different professional organisations or rehab clinics that can provide treatment;
- Do not assume responsibility for the behaviour or tackling the problem – at the end of the day they are the ones who have to face their addiction.
All employees should bear in mind that by ignoring the problem, it will only get worse.
Videos on addiction in the workplace
Importance of occupational health in addiction
Addiction guide for managers
Company culture and addiction
Getting a job after addiction rehab
Professional Support & Treatment
At Castle Craig we can help with:
- Advice to organisations and management on how to approach alcohol and drug addiction issues at work;
- Outpatient assessment of employees;
- Specialised detox;
- An intensive treatment programme which is the fastest way to help an employee overcome addiction.
For further information please contact our Admissions Team!
Page published: August 7, 2019. Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked September 29, 2021