An employee with a drug problem is not just a person living a lifestyle that you don’t approve of. This person is a liability. It’s someone who is unreliable and is bound to get more and more unreliable as time goes by. It’s also someone who demoralizes the rest of your staff and introduces discomfort to your workplace.
Sure, it’s none of your business how they spend their free time but drug addiction cannot be left at home. It will affect their work habits. Moreover, the effects won’t leave their system by the time they arrive at your office. Drug tests are a reliable way of determining whether they’re doing drugs. Nonetheless, it’s also a good idea to look out for some of the most common indicators. So, here are the top 7 signs that your employee has a drug problem.
High level of absenteeism
The first sign of a substance abuse problem is particularly high absenteeism in your employees. There are several reasons behind this when it comes to drug addicts. First of all, drug addicts are people with a weaker immune system, which means that they will really get sick more often. Second, they often suffer from hangovers and withdrawals, especially after instances of binging. In other words, absenteeism on its own isn’t that indicative. Absenteeism on Mondays and just after they’ve received a paycheck might be a sign that there’s something sinister going on.
Change in appearance
Past a certain threshold of use, your employees might start acting and even appearing differently. Dirty or wrinkled clothes, disheveled look, neglected personal hygiene, and similar factors can all indicate that one has a substance problem. Still, there are also other things that cause these symptoms. Emotional distress, mental illness or existential factors that you know nothing about may also be the cause of some of these problems. So, you can ask them about this but bear in mind three things. First, they’re not obliged to answer. Second, they might be too ashamed to admit the real problem. Third, addicts lie.
Suspicious behavior during testing
Once you have enough reason to doubt them, you might insist on them doing a drug test. Now, one of the biggest signs that they have something to hide is their uneasiness when you bring this up. To be completely honest, no one likes peeing in a cup and no one likes their employer suspecting them of being drug addicts. However, the majority of addicts have tried to learn how to pass a drug test. In order not to allow them to get away with this you need to be firm on the terms of them doing the test and order a reliable 12-panel drug test. The latter are made to be cheat-proof. This is because they have a thermal strip that’s supposed to check if the urine is fresh or planted.
They’re coming up with excuses
While it is true that these tests are not reliable 100% of the time (no tests are), most of the time the results are exactly what the test says they are. Unfortunately, some employers are not that well educated on the subject matter. So, for instance, before conducting a marijuana drug test on your employees, you should look up things like “can you fail a drug test from secondhand” and “does CBD show up on drug test”. In the case of the first question, for example, the majority of experts agree that this would be highly unlikely. A repeat test should be the only course of action if the employee insists that the test has gotten it wrong.
Addicts are often subject to various mood swings. They might also withdraw from co-workers, become paranoid, irritable and argumentative. In some scenarios, they might even get more physically aggressive (seemingly for no reason) with their coworkers. Truth be told, there’s also a chance that the person displaying such behavior has some problems with their mental health. Regardless of the case, identifying the problem and helping them get the help they need is the only humane thing to do in this situation. Also, keep in mind that there’s another secret to avoiding their coworkers. If they’re avoiding others on breaks, they might be hiding to get a fix in secret.
Physical symptoms of a drug problem
There are numerous physical signs and symptoms which indicate that your employees are using drugs. For instance, their eyes will get bloodshot or glazed and their pupils dilated. Abrupt weight changes are also a common symptom that you should watch out for. Poor physical coordination is something that you can observe in the office and something that’s frankly quite hard to miss. Unusual body odors are also an indicator, even though this falls under the poor hygiene category that we’ve mentioned earlier. While each of these symptoms may have different explanations, when put together, they’re often a clear indicator of what’s going on.
Fatigue and exhaustion
A lifestyle of a drug addict bears its tool on anyone who tries to follow it. This is why fatigue and exhaustion are serious problems that you might start noticing. Oversleeping and being late for work is one of the indicators but falling asleep at their desk is just as easy to notice. Constantly looking tired, lacking focus, and moving particularly slowly across the office are also signs that an employee might be struggling with this problem. While a lot of people will complain that they are tired, when drugs are the problem this is really hard to miss.
The biggest problem with this concept lies in the fact that each of these symptoms potentially has a different explanation. Being late to work, being easily aggravated all the time, and being irresponsible and distant can also be attributed to some completely benign reasons, as well.
This is why you need to
A) look for more than one system in order to start doubting them and
B) order some drug test kits for your enterprise.
This way, you’ll be the first to know when there’s a drug problem with your employe.