Millions of people around the world struggle with drug addiction, and a significant percentage of drug addicts are actually employed in one capacity or another. That can be quite worrisome for employers, as drug addicts can cause a lot of problems in the workplace, and costly ones at that. Anyone who is under the influence of a certain addictive substance can cause an accident that could lead to injury or death. To make things worse, the personnel involved in any drug-related workplace incident can file suit against their employer. That means litigation costs which could skyrocket if such a case drags on.
With all the problems presented by drug addiction in the workplace, it is of paramount importance for employers, safety and HR officers to know the signs of drug addiction. While being an expert at detecting drug addiction will take some training and experience, there are certain signs of drug addiction that eventually manifest themselves. Let the videos featured below discuss tips on how to detect drug addiction.
Spotting signs of drug addiction : Things To Remember
There may be obvious signs of drug addiction, but no one can definitively diagnose drug addiction unless that person has a medical degree. There’s also the problem of the same signs possibly being indicators of conditions other than drug addiction. What we’re trying to say here is that it’s not that easy to detect drug addiction at work. Still, while none of the signs we’re going to enumerate is evidence of drug addiction itself, someone who manifests two or more of those signs is likely to actually be struggling with a drug problem.
Signs of drug use in an employee
This video may seem a little amateurish, but it does hit the nail on the head when it comes to the most obvious signs of drug use in the workplace. And it’s kind of funny, too.
Marijuana addiction signs
The above video promptly starts with the munchies, a well-known sign of marijuana addiction. Addiction to marijuana, however, has several other signs, including:
- bloodshot eyes
- fast heart rate
- lack of coordination
- lack of focus
- misjudging time
- possession of paraphernalia
Valium addiction symptoms
The video also features one common sign of Valium addiction, which is drowsiness or sleepiness, which can be extremely dangerous especially if the employee is tasked with a safety-sensitive job. Other signs of addiction to Valium, which belongs to a class of drugs called Benzodiazepines, are:
- slurred speech
- poor coordination
- impaired judgment
- blurred vision
- unsteady gait
- reduced inhibition
Alcohol addiction signs
Of all the substances that are commonly abused, alcohol is perhaps one of the most dangerous, particularly because they can be legally bought at any liquor shop. To see if a worker or a colleague is under the influence of alcohol, here are a number of signs you need to look out for.
- unkempt appearance
- smell of alcohol on breath and skin
- irrational behaviour
- bloodshot eyes
- sleeping on duty
- staggering or unsteady gait
- temper outbursts
- aggressive behaviour
Cocaine addiction signs
The next video is presented by Dr. George Northrup, a mental health expert and addiction specialist. He enumerates the most common cocaine addiction signs, along with general addiction signs in a person that are easy enough to spot.
Dr. Northrup stresses out that telltale signs of cocaine addiction include dilated pupils, erratic behaviour, nervousness, irritability and anxiety. Other cocaine addiction signs are:
- runny nose
- damage to nasal passages from snorting cocaine
- track marks from injecting cocaine
- burned lips or fingers from smoking cocaine
- licking their lips frequently
- feeling of superiority
- mood swings
As with most drugs, the signs of cocaine abuse and addiction may vary from one person to the next depending on the frequency of use, level of physical dependency and how long the addiction has been going on.
Ice addiction signs you need to spot
Ice addiction is the subject of the next video, which is essentially a police training video on how to recognise ice addicts, and what to do should they need to be apprehended.
The narrator of the video mentioned clenched jaws, teeth grinding, incredible weight loss
rotting teeth/tooth loss, also known as meth mouth, meth psychosis, dilated pupils, aggressive behaviour, hyperactivity and sores on the skin from injecting ice and picking at it.
Other signs of ice addiction to watch out for include:
- uncontrolled twitching
- excessive sweating
- unstable moods
- dark circles under the eyes, often due to insomnia or lack of sleep
Heroin drug addiction symptoms
Heroin is one of the most addictive illicit drugs in existence. It is also one of the toughest addictions to kick. The signs of heroin addiction can be fairly easy to recognise:
- slow breathing
- flushed skin
- runny nose
- sudden behaviour changes
- frequent mood swings
- changes in peer groups and social preferences
- drug paraphernalia in the person’s belongings
- money troubles
- decreased or loss of concentration and brain functions
- neglect of grooming
- slurred speech
- complaints of constipation
Drugs have no place in the workplace, because they put the health and safety of everyone in it at risk. If you notice in a co-worker any of the signs of drug addiction to a specific drug as listed above, and you begin to suspect that he or she has a drug problem, refer everything to your HR or safety officer. As long as your company has a clear drug and alcohol policy, HR, safety officers, supervisors and managers because they are more likely to be better trained at spotting signs of drug addiction in the workplace.