How To Approach Someone Who Is Under The Influence At Work?

Interacting with individuals seemingly under the influence of drugs or alcohol can prove challenging. The associated difficulties could be more pronounced when said subject is a co-worker or employee. Fortunately, there are actions those facing this dilemma can execute in the hopes of rendering the process somewhat simpler.

Problems Associated With A Substance Dependent Co-Worker Or Employee

Co-workers under chemical influence often prove problematic for several reasons. Their work performance typically suffers placing added pressure on their professional peers, threatens overall productivity, and may ultimately render the office environment contentious and toxic.

Signs A Co-Worker May Be An Addict

Those who suspect that a co-worker or employee could be operating under the influence are strongly advised to look out for signs such as:

Acting In Non-Professional Manners

The appearance of possible addicts often deteriorates to where they look sloppy and practice poor hygiene. Moreover, they might wreak of booze or offer other physical signs of intoxication such as red eyes, slurred speech, or an unsteady walk.

Visiting The Bathroom Frequently

Persons under alcohol or another drug’s influence might make frequent trips to the bathroom. These trips might be to eliminate the said drug from their body. However, such excursions may also offer them a private locale to satisfy their cravings.

Declining Work Performance

The work performance of those dependent upon drugs or alcohol often suffers greatly. Said subjects may miss meetings, not meet deadlines, or simply fail to complete the work they are asked to complete.

Missing Work Regularly

Substance-addicted persons often miss working with alarming frequency. Such absences could result from illnesses caused by consistent drug use. Moreover, these individuals may miss work to procure drugs and satisfy their urges.

Changing Personality

Chemicals often elicit noticeable and sometimes significant personality alterations. Therefore, co-workers or employees under the influence might demonstrate negative traits such as aggressiveness, anger, frustration, irritability, and sadness.

Using Substances In Public

Those dependent on illicit substances are not likely to ingest or inject said chemicals in the presence of co-workers or superiors in a professional setting. However, persons addicted to alcohol might not hesitate to drink excessively at work functions or group outings.

Actions To Consider When A Co-Worker Is Alleged To Be Under The Influence?

Should one believe that a colleague is stricken with some type of substance dependency, they are firmly urged to:

Tread Lightly

The sober subject should bring up the subject carefully and not be accusatory. Addiction professionals suggest meeting with them in a private location away from the office, inquiring if they are dealing with any issues, and offering support if they request help.

Alert The Rightful Authorities

In many cases, co-workers are reluctant to rat on their fellow employees. However, if they suspect someone possesses a serious addiction, bringing such concern to their superiors is a prudent action. The business’s or company’s leadership bear the actual responsibility of addressing the problem and are often better equipped to handle said issue.

Gather Necessary Evidence

Before approaching the subject under scrutiny, employees and employers are implored to gather whatever supporting evidence they can find. This prevents the possibility of levying false accusations and the potential associated legal and social problems such actions could bring forth. Furthermore, all evidence should be properly documented.

What Actions Can Be Taken?

Both employees and employers should realize that chemical dependency is an illness like any other disease. Therefore, the most prudent plan would be to encourage the stricken individual to seek professional help.

It is understandable for the addict’s co-workers and superiors to feel angered and betrayed. However, they are urged to not behave with vengeance or anger. Granted, certain professional establishments operate under strict no-tolerance policies when it comes to drug use.

That said, whenever and wherever possible, the individual in question should be presented with the option to seek treatment. Some businesses, companies, and organizations, offer drug treatment as part of their insurance coverage.

If dependents realize that people care and are willing to help them overcome their struggles, said subjects might see the error of their ways and demonstrate a greater willingness to receive help.

Contacting Us

How to deal with co-workers or employees under the influence is a sensitive question. Our Columbus, Ohio facility is staffed with experienced and caring addiction specialists capable of offering useful advice. Call us at 833-820-2922.