Business Advice

5 Steps For Employers To Support Employees With Drug Addictions

5 Steps For Employers To Support Employees With Drug Addictions

When it comes to considering an employee who has a drug addiction, such as an ice addiction, and may require drug rehab, what kind of employer are you? Are you the kind who would dismiss them immediately without a second thought, or do you take the approach that an employee with a drug addiction deserves your support?

With the caveat that we are aware that there are some employment situations where drug addiction creates huge safety risks for others (e.g. airline pilot, surgeon) we hope that most employers would take the latter of those two approaches. Yes, discovering one of your employees has a drug problem can be a shock, but hopefully, that shock will soon be superseded by concern for the individual.

Anyone reading this who believes they would be supportive, but who may be in a new business, or run a business with no documented drug policy, then we appreciate there may be questions as to how you can facilitate that support. For that reason, we are going to outline five highly effective steps that employers can take to support employees with drug problems and addictions.

Create A Workplace Drugs Policy Which Leans Towards Trying To Retain Employees

Replacing employees, whatever the reason for their leaving, is difficult and costs money so it is in the interests of all to try to retain staff who have a drug problem. They could be a key worker whose is respected and well-liked by all their colleagues and whose work record is unblemished despite their addiction, so retaining them is highly desirable.

Encourage A Workplace Environment Where Honesty And Openness Are The Norms

Drug addiction is not something one would boast about to others which is why many addicts suffer in silence and isolation. As an employer make it normal practice within your business that everyone can be open and honest about anything they wish to discuss. That can apply to work matters, but is especially important for issues such as medical conditions and mental health problems, both of which apply to drug addiction.

Ensure Your Management Team Are On Board With The Support Mindset

There is little point in you flying the flag for understanding and support if no one else within your management team is. This is why you need to ensure your managers are aware of the supportive drug policies which you want to implement. You may have to educate them on it, especially if any previously worked for an employer with less enlightened drug policies than yours.

Adapt Solutions For Each Case So That They Suit The Individual

This could be tricky, especially as you are not likely a fully trained drug rehab specialist so seek guidance. The issue is that no two people are likely to have the same issues resulting from drug addiction or drug use. Even the drugs they use will be different, That is why treating each case on its merits and supporting each person with a reasonable degree of flexibility works best versus a “one size fits all” approach.

Provide Proactive Support Including Funding Drug Rehab Programs

The degree to which you achieve this might be dependent not so much on your willingness to do so, but on your available budget, so we understand if not every employer can do it all. Even if you promise to keep a person’s job open for them until they recover that is great. However, if you can fund their treatment completely, it will surely be appreciated by your employee.