Substance abuse is widespread in the United States. And people with substance abuse problems are not likely to leave those problems behind when they come to work.
Possible Substance-Abuse Indicators
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the following performance and behavior problems may (but do not necessarily) indicate possible substance abuse:
- Inconsistent work quality
- Poor concentration
- Lowered productivity
- Increased absenteeism
- Unexplained disappearances from the worksite
- Carelessness, mistakes
- Errors in judgment
- Needless risk taking
- Disregard for safety
- Tardiness, extended lunch periods, early departures
- Frequent financial problems
- Avoidance of friends and colleagues
- Blaming others for own problems and shortcomings
- Complaints about problems at home
- Deterioration in personal appearance
- Complaints and excuses of vaguely defined illnesses
If you observe signs or behaviors that indicate someone at your workplace may have a substance abuse problem, report it. Don't worry about jeopardizing a person's job. If someone is abusing drugs, he or she is in far greater danger if you do not report your concern. Identifying a problem can be the first step in helping an individual overcome it.
This is an excerpt from the November 2009 Security Spotlight, an informational guide for Securitas USA Clients and Employees. Click here to read the full article.