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Tips For Helping an Employee With a Substance Abuse Problem

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Substance abuse effects millions of people across the United States. If one of your employees is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, continue reading to learn how to help.

Approximately 52% of individuals diagnosed with drug or alcohol dependence are employed. This makes the workplace an excellent forum for spotting the. warning signs of substance abuse. Unfortunately, however, many employers don't do enough to address the growing addiction epidemic. If you are an employer, please use the following tips to identify and help your employees who may be suffering from substance abuse issues.

Learn the signs and symptoms of abuse.

One of the most important things an employer can do is to learn the warning signs of drug or alcohol abuse. Don't act under the false presumption that the problem is none of your business. When someone is suffering from addiction, spotting the signs and reaching out just may save his or her life.

Spread the word about substance abuse.

Not only should employers and management be aware of the signs of substance abuse, employees should be informed, as well. Additionally, they should be given information on how to ask for help if they, themselves, find that they are suffering from addiction. Posting flyers and putting on training seminars are great ways to spread the word and create a caring culture in the workplace. This type of environment will make addicts more comfortable reaching out for help.

Offer comprehensive health insurance.

Many individuals who suffer from addiction may find the potential cost of rehabilitation prohibitive. If you offer health insurance through the workplace, make sure that it includes provisions to cover drug or alcohol treatment. If you aren't sure what is covered by your current plan, speak to your insurance representative or provider immediately.

Check in with employees.

Whether or not you believe your employees have a substance abuse issue, it is a good practice to check in with them regularly. Not only will this help them improve their work, it is also an excellent time to assess their wellbeing. If you believe there is a problem, learn how to address it properly without shaming or stigmatizing the employee. If you have a human resources department, they are likely already trained in handling cases of substance abuse.

Some business owners, managers, or other leaders may be concerned that it is unprofessional to check in on an employee's personal issues. But I would argue that we leaders have a duty to care about our employees' wellbeing. If you're concerned about a possible backlash from the employee, sure, check in with HR first. But often we spend more time with our employees and work colleagues than we do our families. We should do what we can when an employee seems to be struggling. It's the right decision for them and for your business.

.Per Wickstrom is the founder and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation, one of the top holistic rehabilitation centers in the country. He found sobriety after a decades-long struggle with addiction and has since dedicated his life and career to helping others find the same life-affirming success he has. His program is based on natural and holistic methods and has helped lead hundreds to recovery. Connect with Per via his .blog, .Twitter or . LinkedIn.

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