What do you do when someone you work with is addicted?
December 7th, 2015
In most work environments, there is both friendliness, and a need to know you can rely on all the team members being present and accounted for each day. When someone you work with is addicted, not only will their production and quality slip, but they may wind up taking more and more time off – often with flimsy excuses. If you know that someone that you work with is addicted to a substance, you need to know what to do to both help the person, and protect your job.
The unwritten code of escape
One of the unwritten codes in the office is that by Friday everyone needs to unwind. The so-called adult choice for this is to drink or party on the weekends. Even at the executive level, our culture expects a certain amount of indulgence to demonstrate that all is well.
Those that abstain are often viewed as untrustworthy by associates who don’t understand why they are abstaining. This can make it difficult to seek treatment for alcohol abuse. It gets more complicated as the rules change too;
Who should address addiction issues in the workplace?
When it comes to helping a co-workers addiction you have to remember that most places have a substance abuse policy in place. The proper person to talk to is your supervisor. You can share your concerns, but you can also help your supervisor understand how your co-workers addiction may be impacting your work. Don’t see this as tattle-telling, real adults look after their responsibilities first. For your supervisor, part of their job responsibility is to help those who work with them who have an addiction, or are abusing a substance, to get help. Don’t try to do your supervisors job, do your own by making sure they are aware of what is going on with co-workers addiction.