It is important that we, as a society, practice empathy and continue to break stigmas around drug and alcohol addiction. Empathy can be described as the ability to understand a person by considering situations from their point of view. Substance abuse and habituation of drugs can affect anyone. It may not be as uncommon as most people think it is, and it is helpful to understand the affects. The more we make a conscious effort to break the stigma surrounding addiction in the workplace, victims may feel more comfortable and open when talking about their struggles and experiences.
What Is The Stigma Associated With Workplace Drug Addiction?
Many people consider those suffering from addiction as a danger or menace to society. Yet, without understanding them, they are branded with dysfunctionality labels. If only people could empathise with their experience, it could be possible to aid their rehabilitation process. Workplace drug addiction is common. It presents frequent brunouts, low mood, low productivity and motivation. People may feel uncomfortable taking a drug test at work due to the fear of being judged.
How Can You Reduce The Stigma?
For employers, it is important to understand your duty when it comes to tackling workplace addiction. Take time to research drug addiction, speak to professionals on what you can do to help. The better understanding you have of this disease, the better your actions will be to tackle it accordingly. Here are some steps you can take:
Set An Example
It is your responsibility to set the right example for the rest of your employees. Adopt a “no-judgement” attitude and make employees aware that you are approachable if they wish to discuss any concerns or worries, they may be experiencing. Make it clear that your workplace is a safe environment who aims for its employees to thrive.
A worry among most addicts is that they may lose their job. It is a good idea to implement fair policies for people who may suffer from addiction. This may be paid leave for rehabilitation, meetings, and health appointments.
Your company should be raising awareness for drug and alcohol addiction. If you do not have a great knowledge on the topic, you can bring in a professional to host a seminar for your staff. They will explain what the disease is, how it affects the mind and body, side effects, and how others can approach it. By doing this, you are helping others to understand the disease, as well as showing potential victims that it is an issue you take seriously and are willing to provide the help.
Addiction in the workplace can be incredibly common, and it may not always present itself in obvious forms. Taking drug tests at work may be a beneficial policy to implement in order to stop people from becoming addicted, or perhaps identifying those with an addiction and providing them with the support and guidance that they need.