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How to Notice Drug Use in the Workplace – and How to Act

How to Notice Drug Use in the Workplace – and How to Act

Whether your workplace is large or small, you may be surprised at how many people within are directly or indirectly affected by drug use. If you suspect that someone at work may need to attend a drug rehab facility, then it’s time to act – and fast. Drug use in the workplace doesn’t just affect the user.

Signs of Workplace Drug Use

No one ever wants to accuse their colleague of drug use, but identifying a problem can ensure they are able to get help. So, look out for some of the many signs that someone you know may be using

You may have noticed a dramatic or sudden change in their mood or behaviour. This, alongside changed job performance and decreased attendance, can most certainly set off alarm bells

Those suffering from alcohol or drug abuse may also be neglecting personal hygiene – even turning up in clothing they wore the day before – and looking disheveled. If challenged about their behaviour, you may note they become highly defensive.

These signs alone aren’t enough to accuse someone of drug use, but they can lay the foundation for further research.

Start Taking Notes

After noticing a few unusual patterns of behaviour, it’s a good idea to begin taking notes so you can affirm or disprove your theory. Keep this information private, as you may implicate someone who isn’t using drugs at all.

Note the dates and times of incidents, along with witnesses to those incidents. It’s also a good idea to write down what work tasks were affected by the actions or activities of your colleague.

Follow Procedures to a Tee

Before you proceed with taking action, make sure you’re aware of your company or firm’s workplace drug policy. Most workplaces have one, which outlines the steps to take when reporting potential drug users in the workplace.

However, if your place of work doesn’t have a drug policy, then it’s crucial to talk to someone who can outline what to do next. That might be someone in human resources, a manager, or a supervisor

What’s more, you may like to have a chat with a health and safety representative, especially if you are concerned about your workplace health and safety. You can show them your documentation, and they may follow up on it if they believe there is merit in what you’ve noticed.

Tread Carefully if Approaching the Drug User

If the person you suspect of drug use is a friend of yours, it can be challenging to decide whether or not to bring up your suspicions with them. Some drug abusers can become defensive and even angry at being suspected, and the situation can spiral out of control quickly.

If you would prefer to talk to them about their possible drug use before your workplace’s management, then seek professional help. A drug abuse therapist or even someone from a drug rehab facility may be able to shed light on the best approach.

Drug use in the workplace requires swift action. Not only is the drug user harming themselves, but their work environment, as well. Start taking notes, and contact your workplace management if you have any concerns.