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Workplace Drug Abuse

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by sammy, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    Please excuse the bit off topic post. I just noticed this title in the facebook post feed on the main forum page. If you missed it here's the link:
    http://drugabuse.com/library/workplace-drug-abuse/

    The stat sited says that "Of all drug users, 74.8 percent are employed and active in the workplace"

    This caught my eye and was a timely topic because I have long wondered if one of our co-workers could possibly be using drugs. His behavior was always way out of the norm and very erratic from the beginning. From the article, it say's the signs are "Extreme mood swings, paranoia, glassy eyes and noticeable exhaustion are also signs of drug abuse. Frequent absenteeism is another sign of drug use." He exhibits every single one of these signs on an almost daily basis. He is also just kind of a jerk in general. Dealing with him is really difficult and our managers just look the other way because it's the easiest thing to do. I wish I could report this guy myself but I wouldn't know where to do that. I just try to protect myself as best I can from his anger and erratic behavior.
  2. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    You can talk to your managers about your observations, especially if you see something that is clear evidence. Even if you do not have evidence of drug use, if a coworker is behaving in a way that makes you feel unsafe, you have the right to talk to your manager about the situation. They will need to talk to him about it if his behavior is causing problems for other employees.
  3. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think there is truth about that, that there are big percentage of drug users that are working since they will be needing money to buy their stuffs.
    It will be really hard to work in an office with those kind of co workers especially if they are being non productive and moody.
  4. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    Hi sammy. Why is he still on board? I mean, has he not reached yet the maximum limit of absences as ground for termination? Is he even productive still at work? Why do the managers look the other way instead of being in control of the situation? If he has been a jerk even in front of the managers, that's insubordination then.

    You can report him to your Human Resources personnel in full confidence. Aside from protecting all of you from a possible emotional outburst of this person, it will also help him to get treatment if he is really a drug user. Just use the words "seems like" or any uncertain words to let them know of your suspicion. Then say that if he is indeed an addict, he should be helped.
  5. gmckee1985

    gmckee1985 Senior Contributor

    as amazing as it may seem to those of us that are sober, that people would take dangerous drugs at work, you'd be surprised at how often it happens. it's actually a pretty common occurrence. you have to understand the mind of an addict to understand why. luckily, i've never seen it happen at my work place. most people where i work are professional and don't see to have any narcotics issues.
  6. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    You're right about that. At my previous workplace it was known that employees in the kitchen were using pot sometimes before work. For various reasons the management chose not to do anything about it as long as the person showed up capable of doing their job, even if it was obvious from their clothing that they had smoked pot earlier. In the situation mentioned in this topic though it sounds like the employee is not able to do his job properly because of his possible drug use, so they really need to do something about that.
  7. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    The reason he is still employed is because my manager is afraid of him! My manager actively hides when he knows this guy is around and goes out of his way to make sure he never gets mad. My manager hates confrontation of any type. What's worse is that even when the guy doesn't show up or shows up late, no one actually does anything to address the issue because we are all just relieved that he is not in the office.
  8. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    Two things here: 1. Be sure about what's going on. Drug abuse could be a factor, but so could some other kind of mental abuse. Document everything, and speak to your superiors in confidence about what's going on. If there is danger, do something about it, go up the food chain, and get it taken care of. 2. Don't let one manager enable that behavior. Let someone else know what's going on, and why it's not being dealt with.
  9. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    Wow! He's a big shot! Lol!

    Seriously, anyone will really get scared of a drug user (confirmed or not) because they don't think straight. In our country, criminals of heinous acts are mostly under the influence of drugs. That's why if you can report him, go for it. HR should not in any way give you away. It's their job to keep things confidential. So you will be safe. I'm guessing even the HR will be scared to apprehend him themselves. So they will resort to legal means, however it is done in your country. Bottom line is he should be kept where he can be helped and away from all of you to keep you all safe. ASAP!
  10. Daniel Lucky

    Daniel Lucky Active Contributor


    This is sad, but true. Drugs are not free so people work to support these habits. Despite drug testing in the work place this will never change! The best thing we can do is avoid this behavior. I have always learned that sooner than later our habits good or bad will always catch up to us. For me this was really hard because some of my co workers I considered to be friends and when they decided to take a "smoke" break i would be invited, tempting me with all the stress at work just to take 1 puff, but I didn't and it was still hard but we can if we want to stay sober so keep your eyes open. Good luck!
  11. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    Just be careful to not get the guy fired, after all is his life and the first thing any manager would want to do knowing they have such a guy hired would be to fire him. Maybe you want to try and talk to him out of this, after all it's never too late.
  12. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    Be careful, but definitely talk to HR if your manager is not dealing with this. You should not have to deal with an unsafe work environment like that.
  13. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    This is one reason I am hesitant to ever suggest the issue could be drugs because I can't be sure. I have never witnessed him actually taking drugs or talking about drugs. But honestly the symptoms describe him to a T on most days. I guess it is possible might just have mental health issues. He has been working from home the past week and a half and the office has been so nice and more productive without him. I am planning to look into our HR departments policies on staff reporting issues directly to them that involve coworkers. Normally they like you to report it to your manager and have the manager report it to HR.
    Nick W. likes this.
  14. wulfman

    wulfman Senior Contributor

    This is not an easier situation just because it isn't family or someone close because after all this your work place where you spend half your day. Nobody wants to deal with that nonsense. While an anonymous report would be great (so he won't target you after he is fired) if you cannot prove anything then better to leave it be.
  15. Kamarsun1

    Kamarsun1 Active Contributor

    Drug abuse at work is unfortunately a regular thing now a days. The hard part about drug use at work is many workers hide their use, and as long as they do their job and don't hurt others, no one may ever know about the problem, and with the rise of Pharmacy drugs it makes it even easier to hide drug use from the public. Even with random testing people find a way to beat the system. Be safe out there at work people.
  16. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I think you won't be only doing yourself and all your co-workers a favor by talking to someone about this guy's behavior, but also you'll be helping him. Once when I was dealing with a co-worker who was clearly out of order, I talked directly to our employer about it, but he told me to "take it with a grain of salt". But, as my co-worker's actions were putting colleagues and clients at a great health risk, I decided to go to the worker's union and tell them about the situation. It was incredible, everything changed within a week. My co-worker got fired, and my boss promoted me. I guess my employer didn't want any bad publicity at the time.
  17. Rob93FL

    Rob93FL Senior Contributor

    I work in the restaurant industry, so drugs are very prevalent in the work place. At the restaurant I work at (and probably most other restaurants), cannabis and cocaine are the two drugs that are used the most. It's tough to watch a few of them go to the bathroom before every shift to do a few bumps and then go in again an hour later to do more. One of my managers actually just got fired for always drinking on the job.
  18. Kamarsun1

    Kamarsun1 Active Contributor

    It's sad that people cannot control their habits at all. It effects others when your at work high. This country has accepted drug use as a normal thing. It it's not illegal then they have a ton of legal ones for you on the market.
  19. petesede

    petesede Active Contributor

    haha, sounds like you have worse problems then a guy with an addiction problem. That must be a terrible place to work with such a weak boss. I know the purpose of this site, but I would be careful for your own job if you cause problems. If he isn´t a friend of yours and isn´t really affecting your work, then it is your companies problem.
  20. Teresa

    Teresa Senior Contributor

    I have a co worker who has a heroin dependency. He just told me this morning that he has bought some suboxone and plans to detox over the weekend. I know there are other employees who suspect he used drugs and I think the bosses, if they have any suspicions, ignore it because he does his job well. I don't think he is using to get high, I think he is using daily to prevent getting sick, to prevent withdrawal symptoms. I hope he is able to detox, but I don't think he is going about it in an effective way.