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7 Signs of Drug Use at Work

May 4, 2017

Most of us know that people use drugs, and we may even suspect that some of our coworkers, bosses, and employees are using substances.


Let’s face it - work is where many of us spend the bulk of our daytime hours. Being chemically compromised affects a person’s ability to function well, and this means at the workplace, too.

If you are a business owner or manager, an employee’s substance use can affect your bottom line, meaning your company is not going to be as successful as it could be.


Productivity can go down, product quality can suffer, absences can increase, and you, the employer, may incur higher health care costs. Safety of your employees – even the ones not using substances - can be compromised. In fact, over 70% of substance users in America are holding down at least one job.

Many substance using employees do not look like the stereotype of someone in the throes of addiction, although they may be heading in that direction. In fact, many people, including professionals who serve in high ranking positions, can simply look like everyone else!


Here are 7 signs (among many) to look for if you suspect that someone – your coworker, your employee, or your boss – is using.

  1. Unexplained and frequent absences.

  2. Small accidents which occur more frequently than with others.

  3. Personal appearance and hygiene being compromised.

  4. Physical signs – bloodshot eyes, weight loss, depression, etc.

  5. Low work productivity in the mornings – perhaps after a night of using.

  6. Inconsistency in job performance.

  7. Not willing to talk about personal life, especially when this was not always the case.

Whether you are an employer, a manager, or a co-worker – something needs to be done or the problem may just get worse. Learn to recognize the signs of addiction at the workplace, and how to build a supportive and safe workplace environment.



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Content on this website is for information only. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice.