Drugs and alcohol are abused everywhere; at home, at school, and in the work-place. You may notice things once in a while that seem a little strange in the people you work with. Sometimes this cannot be avoided and you should not always concern yourself with the affairs of others, but be willing to recognize when this kind of behavior affects the work-place or threatens your recovery. Here are a few suggestions of 7 telltale signs your coworker is abusing drugs.
- Extended bathroom breaks
If a coworker is always in the bathroom for way too long several times each shift, especially a girl who takes her purse or a guy who takes a back-pack every time, it could be that they have some other business besides bladder control.
- Longer and longer lunches
Coworkers sometimes have to take extended lunches for appointments or personal reasons, but if your coworker is constantly taking twice the lunch break and shows up in a different mood, it may be safe to say they’re on a different kind of diet.
- Missing work frequently
Coworkers who often miss work for days at a time, or even weeks if your job is lenient enough, may be using too much of their time on other activities. ‘No call- no shows’ or even frequent ‘sick days’ may be attributed to some type of substance abuse, and the next vacation they take might need to be to a luxury detox resort.
- Run down and depressed
Active addiction or substance abuse often creates stressful circumstances. If a coworker shows up to work looking exhausted, bewildered, and depressed it may be because of the drugs they abuse, or because of the lack of drugs during a withdrawal period. Not everyone is happy to be at work, but not everyone looks like they want to jump off the roof either. They may also go from angry, sad, anxious, or excited in quick and unpredictable mood swings.
- Strange stories and excuses
When people you work with are having any of the other listed issues and their explanation seems a little outlandish or orchestrated, it may be because… well, it is. When actively abusing drugs people will devise some of the most insane or at least entertaining excuses to cover up their using.
- They often loan money from other coworkers
I know personally I got away with this for a while in active addiction. People abusing drugs and other substances will build relationships with coworkers and then take advantage of those relationships by constantly borrowing money for so many strange or tragic ‘reasons’ in order to keep up the high between checks.
- Theft in the work-place
It can be money, it can be product, or it can be the belongings of customer or coworkers. If you have someone on the job who acts shady every time something goes missing, or is along in the store and suddenly the register is coming up short, you might be dealing with more than just a kleptomaniac. Drug addicts will find a way to support their habit, on or off the clock.
If you see more than a few of these behaviors in any combination there is a pretty good chance you have a coworker with a serious problem. Not that these are proof alone, but they should all be indicators that deserve consideration. You may want to make sure you are aware of the rules and regulations in place at your job, and address these issues appropriately if there is need for concern. Sometimes what others do is not our business, but anything that affects your recovery in the work-place is always your business.