Am I Addicted?

Researchers have found over 70 percent of US substance abusers hold at least one job. An additional 25 percent of all US workers, ages 18 to 34, abuse illegal drugs during the course of a year. You could be one of the many workers across the United States who abuse drugs or alcohol. It might be quite difficult for you to admit what is happening. Maybe, you never planned to end up an addict but only wanted to try the substance. Either way, you may have taken too much of it, and ended up with an addiction.

It can be a terrifying thing since further research has displayed adults of working age have the largest rates of alcohol-related deaths. With so much risk involved, you might be wondering how you can tell whether or not you are experiencing an addiction to a substance. With 14-20 million work days lost to substance abuse each year, you could begin to look into whether or not you may suffer from an addiction.

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How Do I Tell If I Am Addicted?

Having a job can be a difficult even stressful. Going day in and day out may be something you are exhausted from each day. If you turn to a substance for relief, you could feel relaxed at first. However, after a prolonged period of time, you might head into the realm of addiction. There are ways to determine whether or not you may be addicted. Here are some common elements of addiction:

  • Losing control of your mind or body
  • Ignoring your regular activities such as hanging out with friends and family or exercising
  • You might take more risks with your life
  • Problems could develop in your relationships with others.
  • Becoming more secretive might be what happens to you
  • You could begin to alter your appearance
  • You may continue using the substance while it has noticeable negative consequences for your life

In addition to the above side effects, you may find yourself becoming victim to the side effects of withdrawal as the drug wears off your body. Some of the side effects could be:

  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Headaches

This might be the first time you could be aware of the potential signs of addiction. Perhaps, now you want to take action to put an end to your problem. It may be helpful for you to consider the impact your addiction could have on the workplace.

How Can My Addiction Affect My Office?

According to a 2001 White House Office of National Drug Control Policy survey, illicit drug use led to the country losing $121 billion during the year 2000. The survey found 60 percent of those dollars were lost because of a decline in workplace productivity. The amount of dollars of lost workplace productivity, according to the survey, was $25 billion. It can be a substantial amount of money your company might lose if you continue down the tricky road you may be on. What else could happen at work if you do not seek help for your addiction?

Here are some possible consequences of not seeking help for your addiction:

  • Increased absenteeism
  • Legal troubles
  • Bad judgment and decision-making
  • Decline in team and employee relationships
  • Employment termination
  • Augmented fatalities and injuries

With employee drug abusers 2.2 times likelier to ask for time off, it might be shocking for you to discover those same people are 3.6 times more likely to harm themselves or a fellow colleague at work. While these facts are shocking, there might be ways for you to seek help if you have already have been lost to the troubles of addiction.

How Can I Find Help?

The Americans With Disabilities Act says you have a disability if you have an addiction but do not abuse drugs or alcohol anymore. You are legally protected from discrimination by your employer. It, however, does not protect you if you have abused drugs in the past. This is one of many legal protections you have in the United States as a labor force worker. You are also allowed to leave work when needing to seek treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, due to The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Your employer could have its own program for fighting the addictions of its employees.

In today's workplace, your business might have policies focused on drug and alcohol use in the workplace. You may encounter a 21st-century drug testing program designed to catch anyone suffering from addiction in an effort to help you. You could seek prevention strategies taught in tandem to stop any other potential substance abuse from taking place. Seeking help from your employer might be the best decision you ever made in your life. Once you have changed your life around, you and your company may be all the stronger for it.