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The Workplace Intervention

Maybe it is the smell of alcohol lingering from your co-worker’s breath after lunch, or the smell of marijuana radiating from his car. Whatever the case may be, it is hard to know how to intervene when there are drugs or alcohol in the workplace.

Working closely with someone who has a substance abuse problem can be difficult. Which is one reason why you should never intervene on your own.

Don’t Intervene on Your Own

While interventions are vital to a healthy workplace, they are often uncomfortable to do and for some, can be scary. Approaching a co-worker can seem overwhelming, even before the intervention takes place. The good news is that you should never perform an intervention on your own.

Drug Free Policy

Substance abuse interventions can be pretty messy. That is why in the workplace you should first connect with you Human Resources department to check on your office’s drug-free policy. The drug-free policy may include helpful tips on what to do if you find a co-worker with alcohol or drugs. The policy might also refer to a counseling program that your workplace offers. Substance abuse counseling programs and treatment centers take the pressure off of you to fix the situation.

Tell Your Boss

You should never intervene in a workplace substance abuse situation on your own. After you have checked with HR on your drug-free policy, take some time and speak about the situation with your boss.

Making your boss aware of what is occurring with your co-worker does not make you a tattle-tale. In fact, making your boss aware can actually protect you from false accusations from your co-worker if you were to confront him or her on your own. Let your boss handle the information from there.

If You are the Boss

If you are a boss or manager and have been made aware that an employee has a workplace substance abuse problem, take action quickly. The longer you let the situation go, the worse the situation will become.

One of the first steps you can take in resolving the problem is finding a local drug-testing lab in your area. Drug testing labs can offer drug-testing, alcohol testing, and on-site testing. Before you do anything about the situation you have to be able to confirm that the employee is using and abusing alcohol and drugs in the workplace. Consulting a drug-testing lab is a good place to start if you are in management.

Interventions are never easy. The next time you are in a situation where you have to intervene, remember that you are not alone. Use the resources your office has in place to help your co-worker or employee lead and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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