5 Ways Employers Can Support Employees Who Have Drug Addictions

For any employer that discovers one of their employees has a drug problem, including ice addiction, it can come as a bit of a shock. It might be that the employee has already undertaken drug therapy, has gone through drug detox, and is now on a drug rehab program. On the flip side of the coin, it might be the employee has a drug addiction that currently exists and is in need of rapid support.

If the end of the drug use scale one of your employees is on includes serious drug addiction, hopefully, you are an employer who sees your role as one which provides support for them, rather than one where punishment is the only action to take. Obviously, that is your choice, and it is not for us to tell you how to run your business. all we would ask is that you consider all the options open to you.

If you want those options to include ways of supporting employees who have a drug addiction, then there are some guidelines below as to how you and your company can provide that support.

Create A Workplace Environment Where Openness And Honesty Prevails

Whether it is in relation to drug addiction, or any other personal problem an employee is experiencing, the more they feel that they can be open and honest with management and the company owner, the better it will be. Secrecy and lies help nobody, so ensure employees know they will be listened to sympathetically if they approach you with problems, rather than disciplined.

Seek To Understand Each Individual’s Issue With Flexibility In Your Response

Every person will experience, and be affected by, an issue such as drug addiction, differently, and therefore it serves no one any real good if you have a blanket set of steps and actions that apply in all circumstances. By all means, have a drug policy that covers the whole workforce, but when it comes to supporting an individual, seek the means of helping them that best suits their circumstances and their addiction as it affects them personally.

Ensure Your Management Team Know How To Offer Support

Depending on the size of your company and how it operates, it may not be you personally who deals directly with the employee who needs help, and therefore it is incumbent upon you to ensure that all the managers within your company know how to provide the necessary support. Even if all that means is they know to advise the employee what drug rehab organisations can help them, and to alter their duties if that is applicable, then it is still valuable.

Make The Support Offered Proactive

The support offered by an employer to an employee should be more than just advice. It should be proactive so it might mean reducing their workload, allowing them extra time off for detox and rehab, and it may even include offering to fund their treatment. Bear in mind recruiting new staff is expensive and it is far more beneficial to invest in helping a current, experienced employee get well, than recruiting and training a new one.

Your Workplace Policies Should Be Biased Towards Retaining Staff

Following on from the previous point about the costs of replacing staff, this should veer you towards making your company’s policies more focused on how to retain staff, even if that person is recovering from drug abuse, than towards getting rid of them. This encourages loyalty, and indeed respect, from employees who see that their employer has their welfare at heart.