Workplace Addiction

In any type of case, being around a high-stress work environment can cause signs of poor mental health, worse off physical health, and a lower sense of control over time. Work-life balance is incredibly important for both the employer and the workers themselves. The key to having a confident, efficient, and motivated workforce is to prevent them from feeling overworked, anxious and under too many restrictions. For people who are feeling like they’re stretched thin, enough time in a toxic work environment can lead to potential addictions. Many movies and shows these days depict this type of stress with employees smoking marijuana, doing cocaine, or drinking after work to take the edge off. A fun night out can turn into a daytime crutch to just get through the endless tasks at hand.

It’s easy to turn a blind eye to the drug-fueled culture in media, but research has shown that over 50% of people we from work have likely abused drugs during work hours. That’s a huge statistic and points to many offices not taking care of their people as best as they could. Let’s explore how workplace addiction develops and ways addiction treatment for professionals can help their symptoms.

Stress is unhealthy when it’s not dealt with.

Working Around Stress

Stress can be a healthy sign that an event is important in your life. We want to do your best and put out our highest performance, especially while at work. However, when we get overly stressed for a long time and might be around toxic coworkers or a boss that stress becomes dangerous. People can take out stress in many different ways including abusing substances like drugs and alcohol. Some things you may have not known about workplace addiction include:

  • Many addicts at work are high functioning. Signs of addiction in the workplace might be hard to spot. One recent health study found that almost 8.7 percent of professional workers from the ages of 16 to 64 consumed alcohol in extreme amounts during a one month period. It also found that at least 8.6 percent used illegal drugs as well to cope with their mountains of stressful work. Twenty million workers across the country reported having alcohol-related impairment at work at least once in the past year. The consequences of these reports are dangerous, since it negatively impacts an employee’s job attendance, safety at at work, and usually leads to immediate suspension or permanent job loss. Most companies will have a zero drug tolerance policy towards any type of drug use within the walls of the office. In some cases, any signs of drug use at all results in immediate dismissal.
  • A workplace addiction can affect the attitudes and culture of an organization overall. An organization is only as good as its workforce, and having people who are demonstrating negative behavior will create a poor morale. It also easily weakens workplace relationships, creates bridges of distrust and makes customers become weary of the organization’s reliability if they start to suspect some people are “off”. In the worst case news can break out about the company and can leave a tarnished reputation that needs years of good behavior to overcome.
  • People in professions like advertising, music, general labor, cooking, and especially bartenders are all up to two times more likely to die to substance abuse from work stress. An estimated 10 percent of all healthcare professionals are also prone to abusing drugs with sectors ranging from pediatricians to anesthesiologists. That’s a scary thing to think about since these are professionals we are putting our trust in to get important tasks done.
  • Workers who have addiction may show signs of anger or stress if other coworkers ask about their whereabouts or why they look so exhausted from the night before. On the flip side, someone who has a high functioning workplace addiction may appear completely fine to anyone else. They might cover up their use with a put together outfit and a sneaky smile. Yet, maybe they tend to disappear during lunch breaks, go to the bathroom more often than normal, and tell you things about their life that don’t seem to add up. It is definitely unfair to immediately assume and attack someone for having a workplace addiction, so the best thing to do is to tell a manager about their absence so awareness can be created. If their behavior continues, the manager should be able to step in and give them a warning before dismissing them entirely.
  • Programs that combat alcohol and other drug use in the workplace are now established and highly effective for most organizations. It helps ensure the well-being of the employees overall and keeps the reputation of the workplace clean for everyone. Most places will have a code of conduct with information on this resource, but workers can still access online addiction recovery sites from their own time. Building up awareness on workplace addictions is the first step to preventing the problem and management should do their best to increase participation in employee assistance programs (EAP) if anything!

Choose An Online Addiction Recovery Resource

If you feel that you are building a workplace addiction or know someone who is, the first step is to recognize that you have a problem and need to find professional help as soon as possible. Waiting for the situation to magically fix won’t do anyone any good. Many online support groups will provide tips on dealing with stress over long periods of time at work. Since work stress can come in many forms, it’s important to know what symptoms are most prevalent in today’s workplace before addiction starts to develop. Look up what programs your company provides as well for employees to cope with an alcohol or drug addiction above all.  You’ll appreciate the time spent reflecting than working and wreaking havoc on your body over time!

Pent up stress leads to workplace addiction.

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