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Signs you have a drug problem in the workplace

Signs you have a drug problem in the workplace

Ever wonder if your employees are under the influence? Here are some things to look for:

Drug abuse often starts with a single offender and then spreads, sometimes with frightening speed. Experts say that your best defense is to detect drug abuse when it first appears and to root it out immediately. That’s easier said than done. Train your supervisors on these signs so you can pick up on problems quickly.

Signs to look for

  • Is the employee having accidents on the job? Workplace accidents are expensive and so in worker’s compensation. Some drugs interfere with hand-eye coordination, causing employees to stumble or fumble with equipment.
  • Is the employee not paying attention or forgetful? Sometimes the bosses request or instructions don’t register with an employee who is high.
  • How is the employee’s attendance? Is there a pattern to the absences? Be suspicious of an increase in sick days. Drug users miss work about twice as often as other employees.
  • Do you notice a change in personality? Irritability or depression often follows a cocaine high. The high itself may be signaled by euphoria.
  • Do you notice a sudden increase in productivity? In the early stages of cocaine use, some individuals perform better because the drug accelerates their heart rate, increases blood pressure and stimulates their nervous system.
  • Or is the productivity level falling? Marijuana makes some people inattentive to deadlines or unable to gauge quality. Over time, cocaine interferes with the heart and nervous system, causing mental and physical dysfunction.

What to do if you think you have a problem

  1. Have a good, solid, zero tolerance policy in place.
  2. Drug test all – make the job offer contingent on passing the drug test.
  3. Do random drug screenings. It is not as expensive as you might think. Random could mean 1 test per quarter at $25. The word gets around – that may be all it takes to get the word out that you are paying attention.
  4. Address problems as they arise – don’t let it go and get out of hand.
  5. Train the front-line supervisors on what to look for and what to do in case of suspicion.
Filed Under: HR

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