How to Help an Employee With Their Addiction

As employers, we don’t want to see any of our employees suffering – from anything for that matter. And, we definitely don’t want to be faced with drug or alcohol issues in the workplace. However, the fact of life is that it could happen at some point and it most likely will…

There is a huge majority of people suffering from addiction, so the likelihood that it will be someone you know is great. Full-time jobs are stressful – they cause people to experience great levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. And, these instances can lead to people struggling with substance abuse as they are looking for a way to cope with their emotions.

While as their employer, you might be unsure if you should get involved, if you notice an issue – you might help. Here are a few ways to help an employee in your office who is struggling with addiction:

  1. Know what signs to look for that indicate there might be a problem.
    There are several signs that could easily indicate something bad might be going on:Are they taking a lot of sick days? Do they have reoccurring unplanned “emergencies”? Are they missing deadlines?Frequently being absent or tardy and slacking in their work could be a sign of addiction. In addition, avoiding people, change in their laughter, and physical symptoms such as bloodshot eyes could also be an indicator something is wrong.
  2. Be proactive and address the problem with them in private. 
    Of course, it is never appropriate to call your employee out on the spot. But, you could ask to have a quick one-on-one meeting with them to just check in and see if everything is okay.Their remains this stigma that everyone will just look down on those with addiction rather than helping them, but you could offer that help they need.
  3. Be cautious when talking to them. Rather than speaking to them in an employer to employee tone, try to make the conversation more friendly. The idea is to not appear as taking part in the stigma that surrounds addiction. Show your genuine sense of care for their well-being.
  4. Refer them to help.Rather you personally know someone who has had an addiction so you already have knowledge regarding help or you just have the resources to locate help – do what you can to get them to the help they need.Who knows, they might just need that little push from you to be on their way to a better life.

Wouldn’t you want your employer to do the same for you if the roles were reversed?

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