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How To Support Employees With Substance Abuse: A Guide For Business Owners & Human Resources



In today's fast-paced business world, employees face an array of challenges both inside and outside the workplace. One issue that can significantly impact an employee's well-being and job performance is substance abuse. As a business owner or someone working in Human Resources, it's essential to recognise the signs of substance abuse and provide support to those in need. In this blog post, we'll explore how to support employees struggling with substance abuse issues, and introduce a valuable resource that can be a game-changer for your organisation.


The Hidden Epidemic:


Substance abuse is a prevalent issue that affects individuals from all walks of life, including your employees. While the signs may not always be immediately apparent, the consequences of untreated addiction can be devastating. Employees dealing with substance abuse often suffer in silence, which can lead to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and even a decline in morale among the entire team.



Recognising the Signs:


The first step in supporting employees struggling with substance abuse is recognising the signs. Keep an eye out for:

  1. Changes in Behaviour: Employees may exhibit erratic behaviour, mood swings, or sudden mood changes.

  2. Decline in Performance: Look for a drop in job performance, missed deadlines, and increased errors.

  3. Attendance Issues: Frequent tardiness or unexplained absences can be red flags.

  4. Physical Symptoms: Bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and poor hygiene may indicate substance abuse.

  5. Isolation: Employees struggling with addiction may withdraw from social interactions with colleagues.


Taking Action:


Once you've identified an employee who may be struggling with substance abuse, it's crucial to approach the situation with compassion and a focus on their well-being. Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Engage in a Private Conversation: Schedule a private meeting to discuss your concerns in a non-confrontational and empathetic manner.

  2. Listen Actively: Allow the employee to share their perspective and experiences, and show empathy towards their struggles.

  3. Offer Support: Connect them with resources such as EAP (Employee Assistance Program) or external support groups.

  4. Accommodate if Possible: If feasible, offer flexibility in work hours or assignments to support their recovery.

  5. Educate Your Team: Ensure your entire staff is aware of the organisation's stance on substance abuse and the available resources.


Introducing "Turn On The Light":


One powerful resource to consider when supporting employees with substance abuse issues is "Turn On The Light For Business" program. This innovative online program offers a confidential and free solution for employees dealing with addiction. Here's how it works:

  • Accessible Anytime, Anywhere: "Reset My Future" is entirely online, allowing employees to access support when and where they need it.

  • Evidence-Based Content: The program offers evidence-based techniques and resources to help employees overcome addiction.

  • Confidentiality: Employees can seek help without fear of judgment or disclosure, preserving their privacy.

  • Supporting Workplace Productivity: By addressing substance abuse issues, your organisation can improve employee well-being and enhance overall productivity.


Supporting employees struggling with substance abuse is not only an act of compassion but also a strategic move for your organisation's success. By recognising the signs, taking action, and introducing valuable resources like "Turn On The Light For Business," you can create a workplace culture that promotes health, well-being, and productivity.


Remember, addressing substance abuse is a shared responsibility. Together, we can help employees reset their future and create a more thriving and productive workforce.


Visit our Turn On The Light For Business page for more information and to schedule a free consultation with our experts.

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