Three Things Employers Can Do to Help Employees with Drug Addiction Recovery


Any good employer knows that being supportive of their employees leads to better workplace productivity, higher levels of employee satisfaction, and greater employee loyalty. However, when it comes to offering your support to your employees, you will often need to be prepared to support them through trying circumstances in their lives outside of the workplace. Since an employee’s outside life often has a direct effect on how well they perform at work, it’s in both party’s best interests to offer your support and help on outside issues. In some cases, this could mean helping an employee recovering from a drug addiction. If your employee has confided in you about their drug addiction, here are some of the main things that you can do to help them.

#1. Keep it Confidential

First and foremost, it’s important to make sure that your employee is aware that any information they give you surrounding their condition will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. As an employer, it’s vital that you treat an employee suffering from an addiction to drugs just as you would any other employee who needed to take some time off work or get extra support due to an illness. Addiction is an illness which requires treatment, often in the form of medication, therapy or both.

#2. Suggest Appropriate Resources

If an employee comes to you for help regarding their addiction to drugs, then it’s important to ensure that you can pass them on to people who know exactly what to do to help them. Bear in mind that whilst you can be there as an employer to listen to them and help them regarding things such as taking time off from work and offering reassurance that their job will still be available once they have returned fully recovered, you are most likely not trained to help people with a drug addiction. Therefore, it’s best to gather resources that you can offer your employees, such as contact details for reputable local rehabilitation centers, or a referral to an occupational therapist who can put them in touch with a suitable doctor or therapist.

#3. Educate Yourself

If a valuable employee is battling a drug addiction, then you will, of course, want to do everything that you can to aid their recovery so that they can return to work and resume a normal life as quickly as possible. To do this, it’s a good idea to educate yourself more on their condition. For example, learn which symptoms to look out for or what to avoid saying to them. You may also want to talk to them and ask them things such as how you can make them more comfortable upon their return to work or whether they will need any additional support from you. You might also want to find out more about their specific recovery process, for example, how long does heroin withdrawal last, so that you can best prepare for their absence and return.

Remember that as an employer, there is a lot that you can do to help any employees who struggle with drug addiction problems.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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