The Risks Of Working While Under The Influence Of Drugs
Substance abuse impacts every aspect of a person’s life, including their work environment. Dangerous effects and life threatening symptoms follow drug abuse wherever it goes. That means that working while under the influence of drugs can cause serious harm to not only you, but also those you work with.
What is Drug Abuse?
Drug abuse is medically known as substance use disorder and encompasses both drug abuse and addiction. Drug abuse is the activity of using illegal substances or medications not as directed. When drugs enter the body, they cause abnormal changes in function in both the body in mind. Drug abuse directly impacts the brain’s reward system, causing dopamine levels to shoot up abnormally. This is why addiction is considered a brain disease and requires treatment.
Effects of Drug Abuse
Drugs are considered toxic chemicals that disrupt your mind and body. Depending on the drug and the individual, the mind and body can be affected in different ways. Effects of drug use can range from short-term to long-term and even permanent symptoms. Almost every organ in the body will be affected by substance abuse.
Behavioral effects can range from mood changes to erratic thinking. A person may experience heightened paranoia and become increasingly stressed. Those who are suffering could also experience hallucinations or confusion. Drugs, as mentioned before, can alter brain chemistry. Drugs cause the brain’s reward circuit to act abnormally. This can cause a person to experience intense cravings, anxiety, and depression.
Physical effects are often harder to detect. A person may experience respiratory or cardiovascular problems. Their breathing may become strained or labored and they could have a heightened blood pressure. Substance abuse can also lead to a person developing kidney, heart, or liver disease.
It is important to remember that every effect, even though some may seem milder than others, can be life threatening. The most severe consequence of substance abuse is death. Since any effect can be life threatening, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Problems Caused in The Workplace Due to Drugs
Substance abuse can also affect a person socially, causing strain in family, friends and work relationships. This issues at work can also harm the place of business, causing injuries and liability problems. While the most severe problem could be death, there are other issues that can arise due to substance use in the workplace.
Your job performance will plummet. This could be due to lack of ability to concentrate on your daily tasks. This could also be due to leaving work early or arriving late. You may have difficulty seeing what is in front of you, such as a computer screen and have frequent memory lapses. All it takes is one second with a lapse of judgement for a serious accident to occur.
Once coworkers and bosses are aware, the likelihood that your work environment will be a positive one is slim. When you are employed, there are certain expectations that you must reach or strive for. Substance abuse hinders reaching those goals in the workplace and could leave others picking up the slack.
You risk getting caught by your coworkers or boss. Places of employment sometimes host random drug screens or find out about substance abuse from a different avenue. Even if your coworkers do not report you right away, there will be a shift in morale and understanding. Substance abuse at the workplace puts not only yourself, but others in danger. This means that if a boss finds out, they will most likely terminate your employment and could have you arrested.
Signs an Employee May Be Under The Influence
If you are running a business, it may be difficult to distinguish if someone is suffering from substance abuse. However, it can significantly impact your business and other employees. Spotting substance abuse is key to helping your employees not be put in a dangerous situation. There are signs you can watch for to help determine that something is amiss and needs to be addressed.
Your employee may seem to be experiencing frequent mood shifts or appears more agitated than usual. Substance abuse will usually cause a person to act abnormally, characterized by mood swings or aggressiveness. If other employees have left comments about their behavior, it may be something to look into.
Someone who is normally prompt may begin showing up late to work or will not show up altogether. This tardiness could mean that that person has something else on their mind that is now coming before their work obligations. It would be important to touch base with this person.
A person who is struggling with substance abuse may begin to lack personal hygiene. This would be due to their brain’s obsessiveness over obtaining the drug or depression caused by substance abuse. Often, every other thought and feeling gets treated as secondary under the drug. Someone suffering may not shower for days or clean their clothes.
Create a Workplace Policy
If there is not one in place, as a business owner you should consider creating a substance use work policy. Highlight the rules for the workplace and why you have put these rules into place. They are to ensure the safety of everyone there. Inform every new employee of the rules and what the consequences are for breaking them.
Instill positivity and upliftedness throughout the workplace. Show and tell your employees how much you care for and value them. Gather them together and explain that any suspicious or dangerous activity in the workplace should be reported to you immediately to prevent further harm. Always stick to your word and keep the conversation open.
Seek Treatment for Substance Abuse
Substance abuse can not be left untreated. Symptoms will continue and worsen, which may lead to life threatening conditions or even death. Understanding the dangers of substance abuse brings everyone closer to a safer and happier work environment.
Arizona Addiction Recovery Center specializes in individualized treatment for those suffering with substance abuse. Their all encompassing programs help to treat not only the addiction, but all facets of a person’s life. This sets them up for monumental success. Call today and learn how they can help you or a loved one.