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Consequences of Drug Abusing Employee for an Employer and How to Avoid

Employees who take drugs or alcohol at workplace becomes a nightmare for the employer, managers and co-workers. Because drug abused employees disturb the morale among the co-workers, there is poor job performance, takes frequent leaves, claims for medical and compensation bills, etc.

Consequences of drug abusing employee at workplace:

    • Decreased productivity: Employee who uses drugs or consumes alcohol on the job or off the job are more prone for job withdrawal behavior. Like doing non-work related activities, coming late to office and going early, sleeping on the job, taking long lunch breaks, poor decision skills, taking frequent leaves, feeling sick at work place, arguing with co-workers, etc.

For an employer lost productivity (absenteeism + poor work performance) means loss of billions of dollars in business.

How to avoid?
When employer finds an employee using drugs or alcohol at workplace. Based on circumstances and company’s standard disciplinary policies and procedures, the employer can impose a punishment from an verbal reminder to immediate termination of drug abused employee.

    • Increased healthcare and insurance cost: For the employer, a drug abused employee comes with increased healthcare costs. Drug abused employees are more prone to workplace accidents and absenteeism than other employees. They usually fall ill for which the organixzation has to bare the cost of health and insurance.

How to avoid?

    • Random drug testing: Employers should conduct drug testing to all the employees at random intervals without any prior notice. This will discourage the employees to take the drugs or alcohol at workplace.
    • Post-accident drug testing: Employers should conduct drug test on the employee who have undergone accident at workplace. Based on this, employer can know the reason behind the accident.
  • Engages in risky behavior: Drug abused employees are highly irritable, depressed, ignores safety norms, argues with the co-workers and blames the other co-workers and managers for failures at workplace, brings home problems, sells illicit drugs to the other staff, etc.

How to avoid?
At regular intervals employers should conduct drug testing programs at workplace. This helps in knowing the drug abused employee and can take necessary action on that employee to keep healthy and safe workplace.

  • Increased absenteeism: Drug abused employees take frequent leaves or stay absent from workplace for a long time. They fail to give convincing explanation for being absent and sometimes lie to their managers or supervisors for the absence.

How to avoid?
Employer should implement strict norms related to taking leaves. Or in case of critical situation, they should give clear explanation with medical prescription and bills.

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