Is your addiction affecting your job? You’re not alone.

Thousands of addicts consider themselves “functioning addicts“. Meaning, they go to work intoxicated or high. You may be considering doing this or have already started.

It’s not too late to change your behavior.

Substance abuse in the workplace is problematic for several reasons. Keep reading to find out why you shouldn’t go to work under the influence and seek help instead.

1. Potential Injuries

Some jobs require you to use heavy machinery or drive company vehicles. You may use a forklift, power tools, or a simple retail ladder.

These forms of equipment come with safety warnings for a reason. Most require users to complete a formal education or certificate course.

Being under the influence while using heavy equipment is extremely dangerous. To you and those around you.

You may feel like you can control your coordination while under the influence. You could have complete faith in your abilities to work while intoxicated. But, all it takes is one wrong move to change your life.

Don’t risk your life or your coworkers’ lives. If you’re under the influence, don’t go into work. Reach out to someone you trust and ask for help.

2. Decreased Work Performance

It’s no surprise that intoxication affects your productivity.

You could have amazing aspirations for your career, but you won’t achieve them if you can’t be productive. Alcohol abuse is a huge deterrent to focusing and having a strong work ethic.

Contrarily, abusing drugs that increase your ability to focus have shortcomings as well.

Despite being able to clearly focus on the task at hand, drug use can impair your soft skills. Many jobs want you to be able to empathize with the customer. They need you to put a lot of thought into the reports and projects you complete.

The increased focus and speed that being high gives you also cause you to overlook details. And, your work becomes poorly executed.

Drug use is also associated with absenteeism. Not showing up for work without giving notice is grounds for write-ups and dismissal.

3. Alienated Coworkers

You may think you’re hiding your addiction well. But, your coworkers aren’t blind and will notice eventually.

Since most addictions cause mood swings, they can affect your relationships at work.

You might become irrational, depressed, or angry. These emotions can make coworkers feel uncomfortable and not want to be around you. The manic highs and lows from intoxication create a roller coaster for you and your peers.

Or, they may feel helpless. It’s distressing to see someone you care about in turmoil. Your behavior while intoxicated can result in your own isolation.

4. Job Loss

Eventually, you may lose your job if your boss finds out about your intoxication.

There’re plenty of policies about being under the influence in the workplace. Employers have the right to dismiss employees who disobey this law. Especially if you use heavy machinery or vehicles.

If losing your job doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, take this time to find help. There are ample resources available for you.

If losing your job is devastating and feels like the end of the world, it’s not. Consider this life change the opportunity to get sober.

5. Dangerous Commutes

How do you get to and from work each day?

If you drive, you’re risking your life every day by driving under the influence. Not to mention everyone else’s lives on the road.

Drunk driving is the cause of 29 car accidents per day resulting in death. You could become a statistic if you choose to drive under the influence.

The optimal choice would be to get sober and drive safely. But, if that’s not possible for your addiction journey right now, consider taking public transportation.

6. Inappropriate Behavior

The mood swings associated with intoxication can promote inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

Besides alienating your colleagues, you could make customers and clients feel uncomfortable. This could affect your sales, commission, and performance reviews.

Examples of inappropriate behavior:

  • Flirting with or “coming on to” customers
  • Discussing drugs with customers
  • Using at the workplace
  • Buying or selling from the workplace
  • Violent behavior like starting fights

Your judgment gets impaired when under the influence. You may think you would never do any of these behaviors. Unfortunately, they’re not uncommon when intoxicated.

What Should I Do Instead of Substance Abuse in the Workplace?

Instead of hiding your addiction and trying to function normally at work, reach out for help. You don’t have to do this alone. There are plenty of resources ready for you to use.

Start by telling someone you trust that you have a problem.

Preferably choose someone outside your social circle that encourages using. It could be a family member, a mentor, or a treatment center representative.

If you have a good relationship with your employer, consider telling them about your situation. They may be understanding and secure a job for you when you’ve completed treatment. Some workplaces have resources for their employees, like counseling and support groups.

Next, call your insurance company. Some plans cover addiction treatment programs. They may even have recommended facilities you can use.

Choosing a Treatment Centre

Do your research on your treatment options. Different organizations have different values and procedures. It can be helpful to do this research with someone you trust.

Weigh the pros and cons of doing an inpatient program or an outpatient program. Both can be effective. It’s generally more successful to do an inpatient program before an outpatient one.

Ready to Get Help?

Substance abuse in the workplace is common among drug and alcohol addicts. Unfortunately, it can lead to job loss and criminal behavior.

It’s never too late to get help. There are treatment centers that offer gender-based programs and holistic treatment. Sagebrush even offers support for your family while you battle your addiction.

For more information on treatment options and starting your journey to recovery, check out our blog.