Drugs are everywhere. They are in the workplace, in schools, and on the way to work. It’s hard to tell which one of your employees has a drug problem because they don’t look like they have one. Having an employee who is not doing their job is expensive, but you can fire them. A drug user is harder to get rid of, and you might not even be aware that they are using drugs. Unless they don’t seem extra helpful or anything, you feel that his commitment at work is dwindling day by day. It might be possible that the reason behind all these behavioral changes is their using drugs? Though the answer is not that simple.
Here are some things that will help keep your business safe from employees who might have a drug problem.
1. Change in Attitude
One of the best ways to tell if your employee is using drugs is by their behavior which might be changing drastically. They will probably start missing workdays and even come late on some days, which will make you notice them even more because they are less frequent in the office. Another reason could be that they have become very irritable and moody, which will affect their overall attitude towards work and cause problems for their co-workers. The changes are limited to this and include constant lying, being easily agitated with others, failing to perform tasks correctly, or forgetting critical work-related things. You can let your employee undergo a free reasonable suspicion checklist to test them out with all these facts. Once you know if they are using drugs, it’s time to help them control their addiction, which will benefit everyone involved.
2. Physical Appearances
Another way to find out if an employee is using drugs is by their physical appearance because, unlike behavioral changes, it’s hard to fake physical effects. They might have red eyes or dry lips, which can easily be seen, especially if they have a one-on-one conversation with you. Another way could be by noticing track marks on their arms which are usually caused intravenously. If they seem exhausted and sluggish all the time, then there is a chance they might be on some drug-like meth or heroin, which will make them less energetic and more tired than usual. Also, making long pauses in between sentences and forgetting details about recent things can happen due to drug use. If you notice these changes, it’s important to remember not to confront them with your suspicion until you have proof because they will probably be offended and deny the results.
3. Behavioral Changes
Behavioral changes are pretty noticeable, so you have to be cautious when dealing with them, especially if you suspect that your employee might have a drug problem. First, they might seem too tired to do their work which will affect their performance at work overtime because of fatigue and lethargy. This can easily be noticed by comparing their daily activities before using drugs with how they act now. If they used to talk more about plans for the future or how life is going, but now all they want to discuss are the drugs they are using, it’s a vital sign to look out for.
4. Keeping to Themselves
If you notice that your employee is spending more time by themselves, it might be a sign that it has to do with drug use or other personal problems aside from drugs. Maybe they are struggling with depression which might cause them to stay home alone for long periods without even telling their friends where they are going. It’s best if you try to keep an eye out as their health is very important to your business. Make sure to ask them about how they are feeling now and then so that you can tell if something else is stressing them out aside from life in general. Sometimes, drug problems arise alongside other personal issues that need immediate attention before developing into something much bigger like suicidal tendencies or other forms of self-destruction.
5. Drug Paraphernalia
You probably don’t know what paraphernalia might be if your employee is doing drugs. It’s best to keep an eye out for them just in case because usually, people use whatever they can find as a substitute for their habits, such as pens, pencils, and other things that could contain traces of drug residue which needs to be cleaned before it spreads across the workplace. Even though these traces are tiny and unnoticeable by ordinary people, there are unique gadgets that can test them and see if they have been used recently, which should also help you figure out if your employee has a drug problem or not.
Though it’s best to discuss this with your employee, some people might still hide their drug use because they feel awkward or embarrassed about talking to you about it. However, if their behavior has changed and you have noticed certain things that may be triggered by drug use, such as mood swings or more aggressive behavior, try to talk to them first before confronting them with the evidence you’ve found. It’s still better to keep an eye out on them rather than shutting them out until they are more willing to open up about what is happening in their lives right now, which might not be drugs at all. You never know. Maybe they are struggling with a severe medical condition but don’t want to share it with you because they don’t want the extra stress.
If you think your employees might be using drugs, look for these signs to address the issue on time. Ensure that they get the help they need from professionals who effectively deal with them to live a drug-free life. Also, you might want to check out how you can approach your employee about this sensitive topic without accidentally offending them and losing their trust. You don’t want them to start resenting you for not helping, and instead, they’ll feel like you’re too judgmental and not open to accepting them because of what they are struggling with at the moment.