How To Recognise The Warning Signs That An Employee Has A Drug Addiction

One of the comments that can be heard when someone enters drug rehabilitation is from someone with them, be that a loved one, a friend, or their employer, which is, “I had no idea”. Granted, if someone has a drug addiction it is more than likely that those in their family or their circle of friends would know, however, when it comes to their employer, it is certainly the case that they are often the last to know.

We say that not to suggest that employers do not care about employees who are facing up to drug problems and getting help for it. Admittedly some do not, but thankfully many do, but notwithstanding the enlightened status on helping employees, it does not necessarily mean that they are going to be able to spot that one of their employees is regularly taking drugs and may even be addicted to them.

It is only after supporting that employee by enrolling them in drug rehab that an employer might discuss this with the drug rehab staff. The reason to do so is that they do not want to be in the same situation in the future where an employee that needs help does not receive it as soon as possible because the warning signs were not picked up.

What the professionals in drug rehab facilities can outline is what to look for when determining if someone is using drugs, and what warning signs are most obvious. Here are what warning signs they are likely to highlight, especially within a workplace environment.

Warning Sign #1 – Increased Absence/Lateness

Given that drug use is not good for anyone’s health and because drug addiction will cause someone to try to buy drugs at any hour of the day, including work hours, it can lead to them taking increased days off work by claiming they are unwell. Then arriving late may also increase.

Warning Sign #2 – Diminishing Productivity And Job Performance

If someone is under the influence of drugs or is yearning for their fix, invariably it will impact their performance. They may have trouble balancing work and life, this means you may notice that their output has fallen and when working, the quality and standards of the work they do are diminishing.

Warning Sign #3 – Declining Physical Appearance

Let us be clear, drugs can have huge negative consequences for someone’s physical appearance, and it is often this which is the clearest warning sign. Skin problems, hair loss, loss of weight, shaking, and looking pale are just a few of the many ways that physical appearance can noticeably be affected by drug use.

Warning Sign #4 – Increasing Signs Of Agitation And Outbursts

Not only can someone’s mood be altered for the worse when they are under influence of drugs but when their addiction takes hold whilst they are at work and they are yearning for drugs, they can also display increased agitation, make angry outbursts, and may even become aggressive towards others.

Warning Sign #5 – Poor Personal Hygiene

Someone who is taking drugs will often lose the inclination to maintain their personal hygiene. This can be evidenced in many ways including unkempt hair, unwashed hands, dirt under their fingernails, wearing the same clothes for several days, and emanating foul body odour from not showering or bathing.

Warning Sign #6 – Continually Talking About Financial Problems

We all know that drugs cost money, and when someone has an addiction to drugs they will spend their last dollar on buying them. This can lead to them facing increasing financial problems which they may openly discuss at work. They may even approach an employer asking for advances on their salary or a loan.

Warning Sign #7 – A Combination Of Strange Behaviours

Not all strange behaviour displayed by an employee means they are taking drugs, but if one shows increasing evidence of strange, erratic, unpredictable, and uncharacteristic behaviours, it could be a warning sign worth investigating. You might speak to them privately, and if your suspicions are correct, you may offer them support such as drug rehab.