Common Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abusers at Workplace

by Dov Waxman

Drug abusers at workplace cost billions of dollars to the employer in the form of increased liability, compensation benefits, insurance premiums, medical claims, sick leave payment, etc. To avoid these costs the employer should implement drug testing programs at both pre-employment process and post employment process. Conducting drug testing programs helps ensure the workplace is free from drugs.

Employers can know the signs and symptoms of the drug abused employee in their organization. Below are some of the signs and symptoms that is seen in drug abusers. But be aware that these signs and symptoms may even point to the problems other than drug use. Like it may be because of physical or mental issues, or due to stress or lack of sleep are any other reason. Because if the drug test is positive, it may lead to liability.

Signs and symptoms of drug abused employees

  • Poor attendance: Employees who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, usually you can see the following signs and symptoms:
    • Drug abusers arrives late in the morning and leave the job early.
    • Takes frequent leaves or day off for simple reasons
    • Gives unrelevant explanation or vague reasons for the absence or for the late arrival.
    • Sometimes he may take prolonged and unpredictable leaves.
    • Takes long lunch break.

  • Behavior:
    • Drinks or takes drugs on the job or during the lunch breaks.
    • Gives unclear statements and takes poor decisions.
    • Undergoes frequent injuries or accidents on the job and off the job and sometimes even damages the property of the organization.
    • Borrows money from the fellow employees.
    • Their mood is irritable, depressed, excessively talkative behavior or else stops talking with their co-workers.
    • Improper dressing, poor hygiene, sudden weight gain or loss, tremors on hands or legs, bloodshot eyes, etc.
    • Unnecessarily argues with their co-workers and supervisors for their mistakes, over-confident, not co-operative, poor listening skills, over reacts to real or imagined criticism, etc.
    • Sometimes, they may call drug dealers to the workplace or may sell drugs to their fellow workers.

  • Work performance: Drugs clouds the mind and slows down the reflexes of the individual. So, if the mind of the individual is not clear – accidents may happen or may do damage to the property of the organization. The following are some of the signs that can be seen in drug abused employees.
    • Shows poor or lack of concentration at work and in meetings
    • Falls asleep in meetings
    • Forgets or misses the deadlines
    • Low productivity
    • Unable to take and make clear decision
    • Work performance goes far below the expected level

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