No manager or business owner enjoys discovering that their employees are abusing drugs or alcohol at work, but the results of indifference to an employee’s substance abuse problem can sometimes be catastrophic for a business. Indeed, when an employee is abusing drugs on the job, serious injuries can occur and lawsuits can quickly begin to pile up. Fortunately, there are ways to know when individuals are abusing substances at work; here are just a few ways to know when the time is right to drug test your workers.
1. Money or Equipment Regularly Goes Missing
In businesses where an employee has a serious drug abuse issue, employers may find that money goes missing on a regular or semi-regular basis. Drug habits can be incredibly expensive to maintain, and people seeking money for drug purchases may turn to embezzlement to fund their addiction. Additionally, some employees may steal company equipment such as computers or phones to free up money for drug purchases.
2. An Employee is Constantly Getting Injured for Unexplained Reasons
In advanced stages of prescription drug abuse, individuals will sometimes seek out prescriptions for pain medications by staging injuries. In and of itself, an injury isn’t necessarily a sign that an employee is abusing prescription pain medications, but a person who is constantly checking into emergency rooms or seeking out unnecessary surgeries may be attempting to game the system.
3. An Employee Appears Under the Influence
At times, an employee who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work isn’t particularly noticeable, and some people become very adept at hiding their substance abuse in the workplace. If an employee shows a drastic change in their demeanor or personality over the course of a single workday, however, they may be using substances during work hours.
4. Employees Constantly Call in Sick on Extremely Short Notice
Everyone has sick days now and again, but if an employee is constantly calling in sick on very short notice, they may be exhibiting signs of substance abuse. This is particularly true if an employee is constantly missing work due to being hungover or on a substance abuse binge.
5. Employees Smell Like Alcohol or Marijuana
When employees use alcohol or marijuana around work hours, they will often have difficulty covering up the smell of their substance abuse. If someone you work with comes to work smelling like alcohol or marijuana, it may be time to issue a drug test.
At the end of the day, dealing with an employee who is abusing substances is never an easy issue to solve, but taking the right steps to deal with the issue can significantly improve the situation for the better. If you suspect that an employee has chosen to use substances in the workplace, it may well be time to insist on drug testing. In such cases, preventing trouble before it escalates is far easier than dealing with a catastrophe at a later date.