Did you know that there has been a high report on abuse of drugs in the workplace? Prescription drugs or not.

According to a research, of all drug users, 68.9% are employed and active in the workplace.
Now don’t even start to think that when I talk about drug use here, I am necessarily talking about very strong substances or narcotics. Yes, those are included nonetheless.

But, did you also know that abuse of regular drugs like painkillers or cough syrups by a coworker could affect you at work?

Using drugs at work could impair decision-making ability and this can lead to unsafe acts creating accidents in the workplace. I have a post on practicing safety at work. I enjoyed writing that post at the time because I had the privilege of working with a great team and had benefited immensely from practicing safety at work.

Read about it all here.

A few days ago, I had a headache at work and I looked out for Advil but had none. Then I remembered watching ‘Iron Fist’ one of Marvel’s new series. I didn’t complete the drama series because at some point I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I was unmotivated to continue the series. Personally, I feel that Marvel has great movies but I can’t say the same for some of their TV series. But, I digress.

Anyway, one of the characters, and an employer in the series was addicted to a drug that helped with stress relief.

This act brought my attention to the use of drugs in the workplace and even abuse of prescription drugs in the workplace. And I remember asking myself, what if a colleague at work was addicted to a painkiller of whatever sort?

I recall having someone mention that a family friend had become addicted to painkillers so much that her body had become immune to its effects. The pain killers couldn’t stop her pains at some point.

So I am here rambling in thoughts and decided to pen it down, or rather, type it out – blog.

To notice an abuse of drug at work, take note of the following:

  • Mood changes
  • Change in appearance
  • Poor/ deteriorating performance on the job
  • Constant arguments or bad relationships with other employees in general.

Document the behavior and whatever you have noticed in the employee. Approach the coworker and offer help if you can, or give advice on where to get help.

If the problem persists, so much that it can affect your safety and that of other workers in your company, ensure that you report to your human resources personnel or manager to take proper measures. These steps help with ensuring the safety of this coworker and that of others. Don’t feel that you may be jeopardizing the job of this worker, you are actually helping this worker find help.

I guess the questions should be; how are you helping coworkers get rid of drug abuse in whatever form? What has been your contribution to the fight against addiction, especially in the workplace?

I think we should ponder on this. You could make an impact starting from your workplace.

Do you think employers should give training on drug abuse or is it the duty of just the employee? If you ask me, I think both.

No wonder, several companies have policies in place to address drug/ alcohol use at work and have mediums to manage or redress such.

Now, since I’m being positive, I’ll say that Iron Fist wasn’t so bad after all, it inspired this post. *hahaha*