How Substance Abuse Affects the Workplace

Follow Us:

While searching for a job, candidates look for a matching job profile, a decent salary, benefits that can cover their medical bills and a safe environment.

Even if you give them a chance to have it all but not a safe working place, they would probably not work with your company.

Now imagine how it will impact your company if one of your employees is struggling with addiction and can throw a fit anytime during the day. 

As an employer, you must work towards making the workplace safe for your employees in every way. 

If you’ve never considered employee addiction a threat, here is some information that will help you gain more awareness. 

1. Job Performance

No matter how skilled your employee is, he won’t be able to give his best under the influence of addiction. 

Individuals struggling with substance abuse don’t show up at work regularly due to hangovers and even if they do, they don’t function effectively. This absenteeism and tardiness can lead to loss of efficiency and productivity

Additionally, substance use can prevent the employee from being attentive and accurately completing the tasks. It could also hinder judgment while making a decision. 

2. Workplace Accidents

When joining a new company, every employee ensures that the workplace is at a secure location and it’s safe to commute. 

If any one of your employees is using a substance, it can compromise the safety of other people working in the company and also result in injuries and accidents. 

While operating heavy machinery or making critical decisions, an employee struggling with addiction might make errors that can put them and their colleagues in danger. 

Furthermore, you as the employer might be held responsible for accidents such as an employee’s impairment. These legal complications can attract financial penalties or courtroom battles. 

3. Interpersonal Relationships 

Impaired judgment and coordination due to substance use can impact interpersonal relationships at the workplace

Employees grappling with addiction might act in unexpected ways, like starting a fight with their managers, quarreling with their colleagues or having outbursts. Constant fights and arguments can make it challenging for people to work with an employee struggling with addiction. 

Also, their behavior and way of treating others can impact workplace ethics and morale, making the work environment toxic. 

4. High Employee Turnover

Substance abuse can impact the employee turnover rate of your company. No one wants to work in a toxic environment with an addicted colleague unless they are getting one million dollars to sit around and do nothing. 

An employee struggling with addiction can become less productive, inconsistent and unreliable, giving reasons for other team members to get frustrated. Extra work for the sober employees and safety risks can lead to increased turnover as colleagues seek a more secure environment. 

You must counsel and assist the struggling employee to find help. Try to find an “alcohol and drug rehab near me” to locate a local rehab facility that can guide you through the process. Helping an employee fight addiction will show you care for your colleagues’ well-being and contribute to making your workplace safe. 

5. Workplace Culture and Morale

Substance abuse can impact the culture and morale of a workplace. An employee with addiction issues can affect team dynamics, foster mistrust and create a toxic environment in an organization.

Restoration of a healthy workplace culture is necessary to rebuild morale and a positive work environment. 


These five reasons make it crucial to implement clear workplace policies on substance use to ensure a safe working environment for your employees. Employers can either schedule some educational programs or set some strict rules to mitigate legal risks due to substance use at the workplace. 

Remember, by prioritizing your employees’ well-being to create a healthy workplace environment, you improve the chances of your business flourishing without facing any negative consequences.

Also Read: A Fresh Start For Organizations To Create Sustainable Workplace



Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Scroll to Top

Hire Us To Spread Your Content

Fill this form and we will call you.