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Addiction in the Workplace

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What is Ilegal Drug Use in the Workplace?

Stereotypes often portray those with addiction issues as homeless, without employment, and unable to maintain relationships. This is not always the case. More than 70% of those struggling with alcohol and drug use continue to attend their jobs and are perceived by others as “functioning.” Furthermore, while public opinion may suggest that alcoholism and drug use is most common among minimum wage or uneducated employees, this is not necessarily true.

Research suggests that middle-class workers consume more alcohol than other groups within the workforce. A contributing factor to this reality is that, while many may assume that alcoholism and drug abuse starts at home first, workplace culture and stressors can be the catalyst for substance use.

For example, studies indicate that workplace cultures that stress mental toughness, combined with stress, lack of control at work, and isolation, can lead to addictions in those who did not previously struggle with substance use.

Other predicting factors for illegal drug use in the workplace use include:

  • Exposure to Trauma
  • Sexually Demeaning Treatment
  • Unrealistic Workloads
  • Workplace Hazing or Harassment
  • Lack of Advancement Opportunity
  • The Presence of Alcohol or Drugs on Site
  • A “Party” Culture
  • A Culture that Emphasizes Stoicism
  • Long Hours
  • Job insecurity
  • Unfulfilling Work
  • Workplace Conflict
  • Unclear Performance Expectations
  • Poor Treatment from Public

When several of these factors are present, it is common for individuals to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with workplace stressors. Unfortunately, workplace environments that feature these characteristics may also lack the resources or empathetic cultures required to encourage members to discuss their illegal drug use in the workplace struggles.

Instead, individuals in such workplaces may hide their addiction until it is too late. No matter what you or your loved one are facing at work, help is available.

Resurgence Behavioral Health can help those struggling with illegal drug use in the workplace and addiction learn new coping skills, address underlying mental health issues, and discover a fulfilling life, free from addiction.

Effects of Illegal Drug Use in the Workplace

The cost of illegal drug use in the workplace is estimated to cost the American economy $81 billion every year through workplace accidents, employee turnover, wasted products, and inefficiency. There is a cost to the employee, as well.

Studies show that individuals with substance use issues miss 50% more workdays than their peers. For many individuals, this results in decreased wages and possible job loss. While addiction can happen in any workplace, there are some industries in which the prevalence of substance use disorders is especially high.

Dangerous jobs with high physical demands are commonly found to have high rates of addiction. In fact, Mining and Construction are the two occupations with the highest rates of substance use with 17.5% of miners and 16.5% of construction workers reporting heavy drinking in the past month.

Additionally, alcoholism and drug abuse are common among the healthcare professions, because of long hours, trauma from workplace tragedy, and continual stress. As a coping strategy, clinicians often rely on the compartmentalization of their feelings. This can result in depression, relationship failures at home, alcohol, and drug use, and even suicide.

Alcohol and drug abuse are also prevalent in the Bartending and Hospitality industries, in which compensation is often low, verbal abuse and harassment are high, and in which alcohol is readily available on site. Additionally, in many establishments, bartenders are expected to encourage a party attitude and are often encouraged to drink with patrons to encourage their continued spending.

Another profession in which substance abuse is common is law enforcement. This predisposition toward substance use arises because police officers face difficult working conditions, including dangerous assignments, long hours, holiday work, mistreatment from the public, PTSD, as well as violent and heartbreaking scenarios.

Studies also show that as a way of bonding and coping with stress, more experienced officers may “enculturate” newer members to see high-risk drinking as an aspect of peer connection. A similar dynamic is also common among firefighters, and studies suggest that roughly 30% of firefighters struggle with alcohol use, which is more than double the abuse rate of the typical population.

This can be the result of several factors, including long hours, intense pressure, danger, PTSD, loss of colleagues, predominately young and male employee demographics, and cultural norms. Lawyers are also known to struggle with alcohol and illegal drug use in the workplace.

In fact, addiction rates are so high, regardless of age group and other demographic information, that lawyer assistance programs have been created by the American Bar Association to combat this trend. It is important to mention that, while the previously discussed professions have statistically high rates of addiction in the workplace, this issue can arise in any field.

Furthermore, addiction in the workplace always requires immediate assistance. Addiction can ruin careers, damage physical and mental health, and even result in suicide. Resurgence Behavioral Health can help.

Call Resurgence now to learn how to start your journey out of addiction, and into the happier life, you deserve.

Mental Illness and Illegal Drug Use in the Workplace

Regardless of occupation, there is a close relationship between mental health issues and substance addiction. In fact, approximately 50% of all individuals with serious mental health issues will suffer from a substance use disorder. While mental illness can cause alcohol and drug abuse, substance use can also have mental health consequences for the person struggling with addiction.

From a mental health standpoint, the use of drugs and alcohol can result in insomnia, anxiety, mood changes, memory loss, reasoning issues, depression, feelings of hopelessness, loss of motivation, and worsening of mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder and suicidal ideation. The result is a cycle of mental health and addiction issues – each worsening the other. Soon the substance user will feel compelled to use more drugs and alcohol to escape their worsening mental health issues.

Workplace stress, decreased workplace performance, and possible job loss will only compound these issues. Furthermore, the stigma against mental health issues is strong, with many people continuing to believe that addiction is a weakness and not a disease. This decreases the likelihood that individuals will seek help from their businesses or coworkers.

Without professional treatment, these individuals may never get the help they need, jeopardizing their careers, and their lives.

Treatment and Addiction in the Workplace

While many workplaces discourage drug and alcohol use through internal policies, they do not necessarily offer access to therapeutic programs, or safe spaces for employees to talk about these issues. These workplaces may even have internal cultures that emphasize toughness and a reluctance to talk about your feelings.

As a result, those struggling with addiction in the workplace may be afraid to share their struggle, choosing to hide the issue until it is too late. There should be no stigma in seeking help, and a professional treatment center can help those seeking recovery find new coping strategies for triggers and mental health needs.

Among the programs that might be found at a professional addiction treatment center are:

  • Medical Detox
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • 12-step programs
  • Family Counseling
  • EMDR
  • Stress Management
  • Nutrition Therapy
  • Inpatient Alcohol Rehabilitation
  • Counseling
  • Peer Support Groups
  • Long-term rehabilitation arrangements
  • Aftercare

In a safe and judgement-free environment, you will work with a treatment team to develop a plan for your recovery, consisting of measurable goals, resources, programs, and strategies, empowering you replace unhealthy behaviors with positive alternatives. There may also be prescriptions that can help manage underlying mental health issues and counteract depression and chemical imbalances stemming from withdrawal.

Recovery is a long road, but with professional help, you can live a happy life free from addiction for yourself, your family, and your career.

Payment Information

Resurgence Behavioral Health is here for you. We offer payment plans and options that fit almost any budget. We accept most PPO insurance and private forms of payment and even communicate with your insurance provider on your behalf. Just call us at 855-458-0050, and let your recovery begin with Resurgence.

How to Get Help

Today is the day that you will discover the possibilities that an alcohol-free life can offer and Resurgence Behavioral Health can support you on your recovery journey. At Resurgence, you will find yourself surrounded by staff and caregivers who understand what you are facing, and who will always treat you like a person, and not a number.

From medically assisted detoxification to counseling and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, we have responsive, evidence-based programs to help you build confidence, resilience, and coping strategies for a healthy life. In our beautiful and state-of-the-art residential communities, you will discover a new you.

Recovery is hard, but you can do it. Resurgence Behavioral Health can help. Call Resurgence today and let your recovery begin.

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