How To Handle Your Addicted Employee

by AdamS on August 1, 2012

It can be a frustrating thing to work with someone that is clearly under the influence of alcohol or drugs on a regular basis. It can be equally cumbersome to be the employer of an individual that is struggling with an addiction. Questions of how to handle them start to flurry around in the mind. Although it may seem practical to simply fire them, the expense of hiring and training a new employee might make termination a little less optimal. With this in mind, you might want to start thinking about encouraging them to enter a drug or alcohol addiction facility as a financially supportive alternative. A quality inpatient alcohol treatment center can be found at Here are some practical reasons to finance employee treatment.

 Time Management

 Drug and alcohol treatment can be completed in reasonable amount of time. A typical inpatient program lasts from four to six weeks, and they can begin working again in as little as one to two weeks after they complete treatment. If you consider how long it would take to hire and train a new employee, an eight week turn-around is quite reasonable.

Work Ethic

Surely if your employee was truly an alcoholic or a drug addict, you saw significant restraints on their work productivity. Without treatment, the staff member will likely continue to cut-corners and remain unfocused when attempting to complete a task which in the long-term will reflect negatively on the business and to the clients of the company. If the employee does undergo addiction treatment, they will return with the tools they need to perform their work effectively and proficiently.

Job Satisfaction

This reason can be applied for those that are in oversight of other employees.  Addiction can have a negative effect on everyone, and the employees that an addict supervises will have decreased job satisfaction. There will likely be negative attitudes and a lack of morale that impedes the work and productivity of the functioning areas of the company. If treatment is completed, they can return to work better able to carry out their tasks as well as distribute reasonable workloads to others.


When an employee is regularly abusing substances, they become a liability in terms of how they represent the company. The reputation of the company can be severely an irreparably damaged through interactions with clients or other inadvertent means. By encouraging them to enter an addiction treatment program they are likely to return with an appreciation for the company that helped them to overcome their debilitating illness. Loyalty that reflects positively on the company and their day-to-day tasks will be the result of a sober lifestyle.

Although these are not all of the reasons that make sending your employee to an addiction treatment optimal, they are some good things to think about before simply firing them. Whatever is best for the company is the decision that should ultimately be made. However, sending an employee that is struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction to a treatment center will not only help the addict on the road to a better life, but it may also save the company the cost of hiring someone to take their place. For information on individualized treatment programs, go to

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