Five Ways To Identify Drug Abuse In The Workplace


In the United States, the number of deaths resulting from drug overdoses is on the rise. Today, drug abuse is an epidemic, with many addicts bringing their drug use into the workplace. For employers, it is essential to learn how to identify common signs of drug abuse at work. Being able to spot problems is the best way to ensure that employees get the help that they need.

Prescription medications are misused by as many as 6 million people in the United States on a monthly basis. The sheer number of people with substance abuse problems practically guarantees that most large businesses probably have one or more people working for them who are struggling with drug abuse. The following section outlines some of the most common signs people exhibit when they are addicted to drugs.

Missing Work More Than Normal

Luxury rehab centers will say that people with substance abuse problems missed 10 times more work than people without addictions. When an employee starts missing a lot of work, it should raise a red flag. There is no guarantee that it is a drug abuse problem. However, it is usually a sign that they are struggling with something serious outside of work.

A Decrease In Productivity

Substance abuse problems cost businesses money by causing employees to be less productive at work. On average, people who abuse drugs are a third less productive at work than people who don’t. If an employee is at work all day but doesn’t get much done, it indicates that there is a problem that is keeping them from being productive. A sharp decline in productivity may or may not be related to drug abuse.

A Significant Change in Their Appearance

When people suffer from substance abuse, it usually changes the way that they look. They may lose a lot of weight or begin experiencing regular dental problems. Their eyes may be bloodshot or glassy. They may have breakouts on their skin or they may just have a tired appearance around their eyes. Major changes in an employee’s appearance could be a red flag that they are struggling with a drug addiction or a health crisis.

A Change In Their Personality

Drug addictions can significantly change the way that people behave. Employees may become more irritable or may stop caring about things that used to matter to them. They may show signs of depression, becoming apathetic at work. They may also become more irritable or paranoid. Typically, addicts pull away from other people in an effort to keep these changes from being noticed.

A Dramatic Increase In Healthcare-Related Costs

Researchers at the Promises Treatment Center also found that people with substance abuse problems sustained significantly higher healthcare costs than the typical employee. While the actual healthcare records of your employees are confidential, any unusually high costs related to healthcare could indicate that they are struggling with a health condition or with a substance abuse problem.