How to Help a Co-Worker with Addiction

coworkers with addictions
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Your co-workers are often some of the people you know best. During your working years, your co-worker may be the people you spend the most time with outside of your immediate family. When one of them is struggling, it’s natural for you to want to help.

Signs of Drug Use at Work

A person who uses drugs or alcohol in the workplace may be doing so to deal with on-the-job stresses or personal issues. If you know your co-worker is going through a tough time, you may already be keeping a close eye on them.

There are many signs of substance abuse in the workplace to look out for. If your co-worker starts exhibiting these symptoms, it may indicate that they’re struggling to handle things on their own:

  • Sleeping on the job
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Increased clumsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Worsening job performance
  • Dishonesty and paranoia
  • Other atypical behaviors

When you’ve worked with the same people for a while, you get a good sense of who they are and how they normally act. When they start exhibiting troubling behavior, it may be time to encourage them to get the help they need.

coworkers talking at table

How You Can Help

If you think one of your co-workers might be using drugs or alcohol in the workplace, the most important thing to remember is that addiction is a disease. They’re likely well aware that getting caught under the influence at work can lead to serious disciplinary actions.

However, they need help to get their substance use under control. Some things you can do may include:

  • Avoiding enabling them: Try not to make excuses for them or let them cover up their behavior, which may lead them further down the road of addiction and make it harder to return.
  • Talking to a supervisor: A good manager will understand that your co-worker needs help and help them find assistance instead of punishing them. Be sure you’re approaching trustworthy people and keeping the matter private to respect your co-worker’s privacy.
  • Supporting them: Someone with addiction issues may feel helpless in their situation. You can help them understand any medical leave options your workplace may offer, explore rehabilitative options in the area and get in touch with the right people to give them hope.

DreamLife Recovery’s team of experts has worked with countless executive professionals. Our comprehensive therapy options find solutions for most people. If your co-worker is ready to find their way back to their dream life, contact us online or at 844-402-3592 today.