Workplace Addiction

Workplace addiction is nothing to laugh about, even though it may start from taking the edge off from a fun night out. People deal with stress in many ways. Some may binge watch several episodes of Netflix, while others may hit the club with drinks or smoke marijuana to feel at ease. For people who are feeling like they’re stretched thin at work, engaging in addictive substances is a slippery slope that is hard to turn back from. Everyone doesn’t think that they will develop an addiction; we all think we’re invincible at some point. We don’t want to believe that we may be the next addict we know who is dependent on drugs or alcohol at work.

While we may think that not many people are engaging in a workplace addiction, the statistics actually show another story. Using drugs of any kind extremely impairs decision-making abilities and physically impairs people while they are on the job. This is a deadly risk when they are especially operating machinery or have to drive for their work. In fact, 10-20% of American workers who die at work have a positive result when tested for drugs or alcohol. That’s a huge amount of employees who are refusing to follow the rules and are turning to substances to just get through the day. Industries such as mining and construction have the highest rates of drug use by their employees who tested positive and suffered from injuries or dismissal down the road.

It’s easy to turn a blind eye to the drug-fueled culture we live in, but the sooner the problem is nipped in the bud the quicker recovery can begin. Drugs and alcohol are not the answer to dealing with stress, and the “high” that it offers isn’t a sustainable way to live. You won’t feel great with a hangover or having to deal with disruptive side effects while you are on the job. Let’s walk through the signs of how workplace addiction can begin and what ways addiction treatment and resources from professionals can truly help people’s situations.

Sex addiction can quickly become out of hand.
Work addiction can quickly become out of hand.

Workplace Addictions And Stress

There are good signs of stress and signs of unhealthy stress. Everyone has stress during the week, but the differences in our health and lifestyle comes to how we react to it. We can either use it as fuel to better ourselves and unwind, or we can take part in the building anxiety and wreak havoc on our health. The choice is always ours in the end.  Some things you may have not known about workplace addiction include:

  • Many addicts at work are high functioning and can cover up their habits well. They may be dressed to the nines, get their work done, and look nearly perfect from an outside glance. If someone spends a lot of time with these people, they start to see red flags appear that point to an addiction. They may take longer bathroom breaks or have odd leisure areas than before, carry a scent of alcohol or drugs on them, seem out of it or stressed during the work, or look more sick than usual. On the flip side, a worker may start to look more disheveled than usual and start to fall behind on their weekly tasks since they are becoming consumed by their addiction.Most companies will not tolerate any use of drugs in general for workers who are at or off work. As a result, if someone is heavily relying on their job or wants to build a long term career at the corporation, they need to be extremely careful to not do anything that would put it in jeopardy.
  • Industries including advertising, music, general labor, cooking, and especially bartending are all more susceptible to building up a workplace addiction. Even healthcare professions have a ten percent higher likelihood to have an addiction to some substance to cope with stress. This goes to show that addiction can happen to anyone and it’s up to them to get the help they need before news breaks out. A manager may find out about their habits and give them a last minute warning before it’s too late. In the worst case, a customer or client may realize that their professional is under the influence and may create negative PR for the company itself.
  • Most employees with a workplace addiction can be men or women. There is no set gender or “look” to someone with an addiction as we all come from different backgrounds. You may be surprised that even the highest ranking employees in the workforce are battling an addiction. The CEO and the college intern are just as likely to form an addiction if they aren’t taking time to properly deal with their stress and anxiety. The importance of time management, exercise, proper sleep, and healthy nutrition comes into play to help combat stress from all angles.
  • Programs can combat alcohol and other drug use in the workplace as long as the employee agrees that they have a problem and participates. Large companies might have a program in place for this situation, while small companies may simply refer the worker to a local treatment center to get help. Either way, it’s up to the worker to shape up before they lose their job. They can find treatment centers in nearly every community now since awareness about addiction is so prevalent these days.No one should be hesitating to take terms into their own hands!


Online Addiction Recovery Centers

There are online support groups, online counselors, and even courses that can keep employees supported while they wait for an appointment with a physical counselor or treatment center. It can be tough to get into popular rehab programs, so make sure you get connected to what the web offers while it lasts. You will be surprised by how many people around the world are dealing with the same issues and are sharing reputable pieces of advice to deal with stress in a healthy way. YouTube can even be a great resource that is free and highly personal to learn about people’s experiences with workplace addiction and how they got over it. Find out about programs your company may provide as for employees to cope with an alcohol or drug addiction before anything!

Avoid workplace addiction and watch for others.


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