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Drug Use in the Workplace

In what ways might an employer act as an enabler to an employee using drugs? How can this be avoided?
What in the work environment might encourage drug use? Discourage it?

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Interesting questions! Let's take a closer look.

1. In what ways might an employer act as an enabler to an employee using drugs? How can this be avoided? Minimum 200 words

An enabler is a person who by their actions make it easier for an addict to continue their self-destructive behavior by criticizing or rescuing. The term codependency refers to a relationship where one or both parties enable the other to act in certain maladaptive ways. Many times, the act of the enabler satisfies a need for the codependent person because his or her actions foster a need from the other person or persons in the relationship (Albury, n.d).

In terms of an employer enabling an employee using drugs, she or he might avoid bringing the topic up. This enables the person to continue doing what she is doing e.g., using drugs. The employer might skirt around the issue indirectly by holding workshops on drug abuse and the effects of drugs, but never take the employee aside and confront the drug use. So, again, the employer enables the employee to continue using drugs. It might be that the employer thinks it is not his place to counsel an employee about what he does after work, but again, the employee continues to use drugs.

Conversely, the employer could call a meeting to meet with the person and directly confront to drug use, provide feedback on the noticed behavior e.g., number of sick days, coming to work late, leaving early, performance indicators, etc. A recommendation to EAP for counseling on drug abuse could be one option and then, depending on the outcome, the employee might enter treatment. Reports of progress and follow up will also be necessary to talk about to the employee. Perhaps at some high-risk jobs (oil drills, construction with large equipment to operate, etc.) mandatory drug tests and pre-employment drug screening as part of the hiring and selection process could help (see http://ohrc.on.ca/english/publications/drug-alcohol-policy.shtml).

In fact, employee drug testing is ...

Solution Summary

This solution identifies and explains specific ways an employer might act as an enabler to an employee using drugs, and how this might be avoided. Factors in the work environment are also identified that might encourage (or discourage) drug use. Supplemented with an informative article on the increase of drug use in the workplace.

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