If You Work With Someone Addicted To Drugs, Here’s What To Do
If you believe someone you work with is addicted to drugs, you may be conflicted or confused about what to do next or if you should do anything at all. Yes, you should do something but it is important that you know what to do before you go about talking to the person addicted to drugs. Many have approached addicted people in the wrong way and have created a worse situation or damaged the relationship indefinitely. When done the right way and through the proper channels the relationship between co-workers and the person addicted to drugs can actually reach a higher plane.
Before Suggesting A Rehab For Drugs Make Sure They Are Addicted
Many times the person you think needs to go to rehab for drugs is simply going through a rough time or is mentally handicapped or deficient. Keeping this in mind, it is essential that you know what the signs and symptoms of drug abuse are.
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Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse
> Irritability, depression, and/or mood swings.
> Repeated complaints of headaches, anxiety, insomnia and/or nausea.
> Blackouts and/or memory loss.
> Using of drugs to relax, cheer up, sleep, deal with problems, or to ‘just feel ok’.
> Using alone, in the mornings, and/or in secret.
> Trembling hands, vomiting blood and/or chronic diarrhea.
> Serious changes or deterioration in hygiene or physical appearance.
> Going out of one’s way to hide the amount of drugs.
> Unexplained injuries or accidents.
> Spending less time on activities that used to be important, drop in attendance.
> A family history of addiction.
> Using drugs for longer than intended, despite telling themselves that they wouldn’t.
> Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences.
Approach The Drug Addicted Employee With Compassion
It is important that once you are sure that the employee in question is addicted to drugs that you speak to them in a safe and confidential place. It is best to have an HR representative and the addicted individuals direct supervisor involved in the meeting. Try to avoid having more than two people involved. This could cause the addict to feel threatened or ganged up on. Speak to them from a place of compassion. They are more likely to take your advice about going to a rehab for drugs if they feel you are coming to them from a place of concern.
Tell the addicted employee that you have noticed that they seem to not be themselves lately. Tell them that you are concerned about their health and well-being and that you are here to listen and here to help. If they admit that they have a problem and are addicted to drugs, the time to suggest a rehab for drugs is now. Once an addict has admitted defeat there is a short window of opportunity to act before they begin to feel vulnerable and attempt to return to using. In the past many employers have found success by informing the employee in question that if they do not accept help and go to a rehab for drugs they will lose their job.
Unfortunately, most of the time it is the negative consequences of the addicts actions that provide the necessary inspiration to get help.