Signs Your Employee’s Alcohol and Drug Addiction is Impacting their Job Performance

Without a doubt, alcohol and drug abuse have continued to be a major problem among various people in different countries around the world. Apart from losing people from drug addiction and alcohol addiction, these issues also tend to affect numerous aspects of life. Therefore, it is not surprising that job performance can be affected by addiction.

So, if you have an employee that is addicted to alcohol and drugs, you should note that the addiction can affect their job performance. This, in turn, leads to negative impacts on your business. As noted by some studies, employers lose as much as $81 billion every year due to drug abuse by their employers.

To protect your business and employees, there are some signs that you can watch out for to know when an employee’s alcohol and drug addiction is affecting their job performance. These signs include the following.

A decline in job performance

Every role has a certain job description. This means that there are certain things that you expect every employee to do to justify their employment. Besides, your employees must have been functioning in the role before; therefore, you tend to understand their strengths. So, if you start noticing a decline in the performance of the employee, you should know that there is a problem.

A decline in job performance may come in the form of reduced productivity, missed deadlines, or poor performance in projects. While other factors may play a role, alcohol and drug addiction is often the leading cause.

Drunk employee

An increase in absences

Of course, an employee may fail to come to work due to poor health or some other emergencies. However, when the absenteeism becomes more frequent than before, alcohol and drug addiction may be the major culprit. This is because an overreliance on drugs or alcohol often makes it difficult for people to wake up early or even answer their alarm clock.

In addition, alcohol and drug addiction can cause withdrawal symptoms and hangovers that will make it impossible for the person to stay in control of their time. Similarly, addiction may result in legal problems and relationship issues. All these challenges will continue to create physical and psychological barriers to getting to work at the right time.

So, if absences are too often, this may be a sign that your employee’s drug and alcohol addiction is affecting their job performance.

Frequent physical health problems

Physical health and appearance are some of the ways through which addiction often reveals itself. So, physical health problems may let you know if your business is already suffering from your employee’s drug and alcohol addiction.

A few of the physical health problems associated with drug and alcohol addiction are:

  • Chronic headache
  • Extreme weight changes
  • Marked-up or pale skin
  • Sunken eyes
  • Frequent runny nose
  • Intestinal distress
  • Dental problems
  • Persistent pain
  • Flu-like symptoms

It is worthwhile to note that these physical health problems may be caused by some other conditions. However, if they happen frequently to an employee with an addiction problem, the issue may be the addiction itself. As a consequence of these health problems, the employees may start missing work and performing below expectations. This is just telling you that addiction is gradually affecting their job performance.

Frequent financial struggle

In general, addiction means that a person can hardly stay for long without taking drugs or alcohol. Over time, they will start going out of their way to buy drugs and alcohol with money they should have spent on other important things. So, if your employee seems to be having financial challenges regularly, alcohol and drug addiction may be the cause.

Does the employee often ask for advances on their salary? Do they often ask you or another employee for financial assistance? Do they usually take money from their retirement payments? If yes, you should note that drug and alcohol addiction could be getting the best of them already and their job performance is suffering.

Regular unpredictable and strange behavior

Do they yell at or insult other workers? Do they lie outright about various things? Have you noticed their frequent engagement in any unusual and unrewarding behaviors? If yes, they are already suffering from some physical or psychological problems. Therefore, try to understand the cause of the problem as some other factors may be responsible.

Feeling Hungover

A slip in personal appearance and hygiene

If an employee who used to dress well and look great has suddenly become untidy in appearance, drugs and alcohol may the problem. You may notice this through unkempt hair, dirty cloth and a lack of showering. In some cases, the employee may be completely ignorant of their physical appearance. This is usually because of the effect of drugs or alcohol. 

While you may want to feel unbothered about this, it may have a telling effect on how clients perceive your business or even the well-being of your other employees. So, don’t overlook this problem.

Other signs that you may want to look out for in your employee that is showing that their drug and alcohol addiction is affecting their job performance include:

  • Sleeping or tardiness while still at work
  • Doing illegal activities in the workplace
  • Poor decision making that concerns work
  • Theft
  • Increased likelihood of having issues with supervisors or colleagues
  • Poor disciplinary acts
  • Frequent loss of concentration and attention due to the desire to take alcohol and drug.

Whatever signs you have noticed, you should note that this problem may spread to other employees if care is not taken. Therefore, you must try to assist the affected person.

How to help

Foremost, you should note that no one is too big or too small to be addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Therefore, successful and experienced professionals may also find themselves in this pitfall. As a result of this, your target should be to assist the person involved.

Don’t make an assumption. Talk to the affected person and let them admit what the problem is. This will assist you to determine the right action you can take to deal with the problem. If alcohol and drug addiction is the issue, encourage your employee to seek help.

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