Signs Your Coworker May Need Help with an Addiction

Addiction is something that many people are struggling with, but it may not always be obvious on the surface, and so you need to dig deep if you’re worried about someone you’re working with. Some people end up battling with substance and alcohol abuse because of life’s tendency to become stressful, as well as emotional trauma or other factors.

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It isn’t uncommon that in your workplace you may find people who are struggling with addiction. You may be reading this because you want to know what signs to look out for or you suspect a colleague may have a problem. Irrespective, you should find this article useful as it’s going to look at signs that your coworker may need help with an addiction.

Changes in Behavior

One of the first signs that your coworker may need help with an addiction is evident changes in their behavior. Often times, when someone is struggling with an addiction, their character changes and they begin behaving erratically. You may notice that they become forgetful, unreliable, and seem to be struggling to keep up with work demands and meet deadlines. You may also notice that they lack motivation, are irritable and easily agitated which are all signs of someone battling with addiction.

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While you need to note that everyone has a down day, if you think a person’s behavior is becoming erratic and that they are acting differently more so than not, keep a record of the day and instances that are a cause for concern. Without concrete evidence, you may not be able to prove your point when you bring up the matter that is worrying you. Plus, with examples, the person who may have an addiction is able to reflect on their behavior more easily.

Untidy Appearance

Another giveaway that your colleague may have a problem with alcohol or substance abuse is when their appearance begins to decline. You may notice that they look untidy or not as polished as they used to. Physically, you may also find that they have bloodshot eyes, seem to be losing a significant amount of weight and aren’t on top of their personal hygiene. If you do notice these things and have a cause for concern, you should talk to management about your suspicions so that they can suggest solutions such as sober living in Los Angeles or other alternative means of them getting the help they need.

Other things you should keep a check on is a person’s car, especially if they cared for it before. If you were close with them and frequented their home outside of work, keep an eye out for disturbances or a reduction in hygiene.

Financial Challenges

You tend to spend a lot of time with your work colleagues, and during this time, you likely forge different kinds of relationships. This also means that you may have some insight into their personal life depending on your level of closeness. As a result, you may notice that they’re having financial challenges or struggling with money in some way. For example, are they unable to buy food, coffee or tea, or perhaps they cannot keep up with car payments, resulting in the car being repossessed? Financial unpredictability is a sign and symptom of addiction, so look out for that as well.

Changes in Social Circle

You may also find that your colleague seems to be spending time with different people who are the opposite of their usual friends. In some instances, you may overhear odd conversations with people which don’t align with their usual lingo or conversation. This could sometimes indicate that they have user friends they are spending more time with and as a result, the cycle of substance abuse continues. While you do not want to pry into private conversations, you should also see whether they are getting odd phone calls through, whether they disappear to meet with someone, and if they are more worried about people overhearing whatever it is they are talking about.

Also read: What To Do When Employees Bring Personal Struggles Into The Workplace

Dealing with an addiction isn’t something people are often proud of or want to come clean about. This could be because they’re embarrassed, fear losing their job, or are in denial about it altogether. However, if you notice that they seem to have some of the signs above, perhaps think about how you can help. You should also remember to go about handling the situation in the right way in order to avoid them completely shutting you out.

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