Ways To Help Employees Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol In The Workplace

Often when we find out that an employee is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction in the workplace, our first instinct is to fire them. Sometimes even worse, we decide to humiliate, bully and take advantage of the situation. In any case, this does not help at all – it only makes matters worse and possibly pushes the employee over the edge. Of course, in an ideal situation an employer would already have DOT reasonable suspicion training and know what to do.

A lack of empathy and understanding can be very damaging to an employee suffering from drug or alcohol addiction. Although it may be difficult, taking the time to sit down and talk with them is a much better way to encourage them in seeking treatment. This could involve getting them help through employee assistance programs (EAPs) or setting up a formal support group for employees who are struggling with addiction.

In this article, we will look at some other ways that employers can help employees dealing with drug or alcohol addiction in the workplace. We will go into great detail on the importance of educating yourself on addiction and getting help from outside organizations when necessary.

Methods To Assist Employees Suffering from Drug or Alcohol Addiction in the Workplace

The following are methods that can help employees dealing with drug or alcohol addiction in the workplace:

1. Talk to them openly and compassionately. It can be quite difficult to find the right words to say when a coworker is struggling with addiction, but it is important that you remain calm and try to remain understanding at all times. Showing empathy for their situation will help your employee feel supported and encouraged in seeking treatment for their condition.

2. Encourage them to seek professional treatment or join an EAP program if one exists in your workplace. Many employers are now recognizing the need for formal programs that provide support, information, and guidance for employees dealing with drug or alcohol addiction in the workplace. These programs can be extremely helpful in facilitating an employee’s recovery, and can also help reduce overall costs for the company.

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3. Educate yourself on addiction by reading books or attending workshops and seminars that focus on helping employers assist employees who are dealing with addiction issues. There is a lot of information available online and in print that can give you valuable insights and ideas about how to approach this difficult situation. Having a better understanding of addiction will not only help you personally, but it will also help you gain support from your other coworkers as well.

4. Get outside help if necessary to manage an employee with drug or alcohol addiction in the workplace. If you feel like your efforts are not making much progress or if the situation feels too overwhelming, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals who can help you manage this difficult situation. There may be a drug rehab facility or support group in your area that specializes in working with addicted employees and helping them recover, so contact them as soon as possible if you need some extra guidance.

5. Consider offering employees incentives or rewards for staying sober. This could be in the form of paid vacation time or company benefits, or something more personalized like a day off with pay to attend a support group meeting. The idea is simply to offer positive reinforcement and show your employee that you are willing to do whatever it takes to help them overcome their addiction.

Organizations That Can Help Employees Dealing with Drug or Alcohol Addiction in the Workplace

There are many organizations that can help employers assist employees dealing with drug or alcohol addiction in the workplace. Some of these include:

1. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

These programs often offer counseling, support groups, and educational resources for employees struggling with addiction. They can be helpful in guiding an employee through their recovery process and helping them build a stronger foundation to stay sober on a long-term basis.

2. Local Rehab Facilities and Support Groups

There may be a local drug rehab facility or support group in your area that offers specialized services to help employees deal with drug or alcohol addiction in the workplace. This can be especially beneficial if you are struggling to find the right resources or assistance for your employee.

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3. Professional Counselors and Coaches

If you are dealing with an employee who is particularly resistant to treatment, it may be useful to consult a professional counselor or coach who can provide additional guidance on how best to manage their addiction in the workplace. These professionals have extensive training and experience in helping people overcome addiction, so they can offer valuable insights into this complex issue.


1. What are The Most Common Signs of Drug or Alcohol Addiction in The Workplace?

Some of the most common signs of drug or alcohol addiction in the workplace include excessive absenteeism, declining performance and productivity, frequent mood swings or changes in behavior, trouble with coworkers or managers, and a tendency to engage in risky behaviors.

2. How Can I Support an Employee Who is Dealing with Addiction Issues at Work?

There is no one definitive approach that works for all employees dealing with addiction issues at work; however, some strategies that may be helpful include offering professional counseling services, creating an EAP program if one does not already exist at your organization, and implementing clear workplace policies around drug and alcohol use.

3. What Resources are Available to Help Employees Deal With Addiction in The Workplace?

There are many different resources available to help employees deal with addiction in the workplace, including EAP programs, support groups, and professional counselors or coaches. Additionally, there may also be local rehab facilities or treatment centers that specialize in helping people manage their addictions at work. It is important to explore your options and find what works best for you and your individual needs.


Overall, there are many different resources and strategies available to help employees struggling with drug or alcohol addiction in the workplace. Whether you are looking for professional counseling services, support groups, or information on implementing a workplace policy around addiction, there are many options available to help you and your employee successfully manage this complex issue.

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