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Addiction affects one in ten people worldwide and, given that the majority of people with a drug or alcohol problem are in full time employment, it is little wonder that drinking in the workplace and drug taking is a real issue.

If you are reading this page it may be that you are concerned about a colleague or want to find out more about how addiction at work can be treated.

We at Delamere, provide a private and confidential drug and alcohol resource for professionals seeking to support a work colleague or workforce with addiction issues. We regularly support employers and colleagues in sensitively tackling drinking in the workplace and substance abuse at work

Our Delamere team are proficient in delivering professional training sessions that support management and Human Resources in identifying the signs and symptoms of addiction. We are also able to assist by delivering interventions in the workplace for colleagues who need treatment for a drug or alcohol problem.

Delamere have a wealth of experience and expertise in this regard and offer a proactive and confidential approach.

Gordon Dunn, People Director, Pets at Home Vet Group

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Call us confidentially at any time to speak to a member of our team.

Call us now: 0330 111 2015

Addiction can impact the workplace in many ways. We at Delamere are often contacted at the point where the consequences of a colleague’s behaviour are not only affecting the person suffering but also impacting on their colleagues.

It may be that your work colleague’s drinking in the workplace or taking drugs in the workplace is:

  1. Affecting their ability to perform their role
  2. Is becoming detrimental to the image or reputation of the organisation
  3. Is having a ripple effect on team morale
  4. Is resulting in employees losing confidence in their employers
  5. Is endangering lives

When drinking and drugging in the workplace becomes a problem, this is when a professional intervention can make all the difference in restoring a healthy and balanced work environment..

Consequences of alcohol abuse and drug use in the workplace

Consequences of a work colleague suffering from an addiction include:

  • Frequent absenteeism and lateness
  • Frequent errors and poor performance at work
  • Reduced productivity across the business
  • Inappropriate behaviour that can affect employee morale
  • Injuries and accidents, including fatalities
  • PR issues as a result of consequences and behaviour

Our experience at Delamere has shown that an individual in active addiction is usually the last person to understand the seriousness of their condition. As a result the consequences of their untreated illness spill out into other areas of their life.

A work colleague suffering from drug or alcohol problem often means poor work performance because of poor decision-making and impaired reaction times whilst under the influence. Their behaviour may also be detrimental to other employees, which can and do, create company-wide problems.

We created a video from Professor Sir Cary Cooper about workplace addiction:

Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

If this information on addiction in the workplace resonates, the next step is to get in touch with us at Delamere about treatment. At Delamere, we care for a whole variety of addictions and associated problems. Our belief is that, with the correct treatment and support, anybody can permanently break the cycle of active addiction and rebuild their lives for the better.

Alcohol in the Workplace

Typically, employed adults are more likely to drink more frequently compared to the unemployed. Furthermore, employees in managerial or executive positions are more at risk of drinking on a regular basis due to often attending business events and workplace stress. This kind of drinking becomes problematic for many.

You may have concerns over a work colleague or employer drinking in the workplace and how this is not only affecting them and their work but also those around them. If this is the case, we at Delamere can help

Drugs in the Workplace

Likewise, drugs can cause a rapid debilitation in judgment and focus, influencing the brain and mind in an assortment of ways. Cocaine, for instance, can make the user at first feel wide awake, perceptive and generally in a good frame of mind. However, it can also prompt sporadic, careless and even brutal conduct.

Over the long haul, the implications of taking drugs in the workplace such as cocaine, cannabis or opiates are serious. By acting expeditiously, a business won’t just spare its own expense, it will spare a worker’s profession, wellbeing, and family.

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How to help a work colleague with a drug or alcohol problem

If you have concerns for a work colleague or friend at work who is drinking alcohol or using drugs in the workplace, you may be struggling to know the best way to help them.

The goal of getting your work colleague to access professional addiction treatment and support is not always easy to attain. Often one of the symptoms of addiction is denial and resistance. This can present a real problem in getting the person who is suffering, to :

a) Admit they have a problem with drugs and/or alcohol
b) Accept professional help and treatment

You may well find yourself tip toeing around the issue of your work colleagues drinking in the workplace or drug taking. This is not unusual, confrontation can often result in pushing the person further away from the life saving help that they need.

At Delamere, our multidisciplinary team of addiction treatment professionals have over 100 years collectively in treating addiction successfully. We know that the hardest part of overcoming an addiction can be getting the person to actually see that they have a problem that requires prompt action.

If you want to friend or work colleague with addiction issues to seek help and treatment, we suggest you take the following approach:

Be supportive – Try not to judge your work colleague for drinking in the workplace or using drugs. If it has come to the point where they are unable to stay sober during work hours, they have a problem that is beyond their control. Being judgmental or unsupportive will only drive them to be more secretive and dishonest about their substance abuse.

Avoid confrontation – Confronting an addict or alcoholic when you do not have the required professional experience or strategy can often result in a fall out. This will not only affect them but will also leave a lasting impact on you and how you can continue to work alongside them.

Be encouraging – Encourage your friend or work colleague to talk about their problems. Addiction doesn’t just spring from nowhere, it may be that they are experiencing problems at home or are suffering with work related stress. By opening up the pathway of communication they are more likely to confide in you that they need help.

Do not enable – Not enabling doesn’t mean you cannot be supportive. Enabling is a form of covering up and colluding with the individual who is suffering. If you enable your work colleague by covering for them or rectifying their mistakes, you are not only making more stress for yourself but you are also helping them to continue in their addiction

Ask for help – If your work colleague is not prepared to seek help for their drug or alcohol problem and it is evident that it is impacting on their wellbeing and work, then the next right thing to do is to ask for help. By reaching out to us at Delamere we can advise you of the next steps to take to help your colleague or work friend into treatment.

Case Studies

Case study 1. Awareness and education session for logistics department – Public Listed Retailer

A road traffic accident involving a HSE driver who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs, prompted their employer to introduce drug and alcohol testing across the company. Martin Preston (our founder) and his team facilitated an amnesty period during which at risk colleagues were assessed and treated.

Case study 2. Our Delamere multidisciplinary team of addiction treatment professionals successfully treated a rising star in a healthcare business for alcoholism. As a result, they retained their employment and continue to be a great asset to the company.

Case study 3. A colleague failed an alcohol test at work having been suspended already for drink driving. The company director contacted us at Delamere. Our team organised:

  • An intervention in the workplace
  • A bespoke detox and rehabilitation programme
  • Addendum to employment contract (to help employer make clear that ongoing employment is contingent on sobriety)
  • Return to work interview
  • Maintenance and aftercare plan facilitated by Delamere

As a result of our treatment and intervention, the employee continues to grow in their new found sobriety, has adhered to all aspects of their employment contract and continues to access aftercare support with our team at Delamere.