It’s hard to imagine substance abuse happening in your workplace, but unfortunately, it happens all too often. Approximately 16% of patients injured at work that end up in the emergency room have alcohol in their system. Additionally, substance abuse and addiction are very common in today’s culture, with over 26% of employed adults having it in their family. Because it can be a sensitive subject, it’s important for employers to do their homework to prevent issues related to substance abuse in the workplace.
When employees are abusing substances, they’re not only negatively affecting themselves, but they’re also affecting everyone around them. This doesn’t just stop at home; these issues follow people into the workplace. When an employee is dealing with substance abuse or addiction, they can be expected to exhibit lowered productivity and are more likely to have physical injuries happen. The likelihood of workplace accidents skyrockets when employees are under the influence of alcohol or another substance. This means there’s also an increase in workplace complaints to HR and in some cases lawsuits or charges of assault. Other issues caused by workplace substance abuse include:
- Withdrawal symptoms affecting job performance
- Inability to focus or concentrate while under the influence
- Needless risk-taking affecting company
While employers can’t necessarily stop employees from making bad decisions while they’re not at work, it’s important to note that there are options. Utilizing drug screenings during the hiring process and or throughout employment can significantly reduce the likelihood of workplace substance abuse. Drug screenings can mitigate your company’s liability for issues caused by this abuse, and they help keep employees accountable for their actions. Most importantly though, drug screening can help ensure a safe workplace environment for all employees.