Consequences for the Addict – Why They are Your Friend

Consequences for the Addict – Why They are Your Friend

The addict, if they continue with their drug, usually gets into some type of trouble.  Examples would be, money problems, failing health, personal relationship problems, jail time, lost license, excessive sick days etc. In the past you may have responded to the addict and their issues by using up lots of energy yourself.  You may have felt turmoil and feel you must help the addict because somehow that is what you are supposed to do. This is what you have always done.

What society is not aware of that consequences are very important for the addict and that they actually can have the effect of pushing them to want them to get better. It is precisely the consequences that help the addict to see what is going on. If there are no consequences to one’s behavior then there is nothing that will get the addict see what they are doing and they won’t change. They actually need the consequences to be able to see that they, themselves, are the problem. If you keep the addict from experiencing consequences then you become are part of the problem.

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Addicts Recover Because They Feel The Heat

Addicts don’t recover because they see the light; they recover because they feel the heat! They hit a bottom that causes them to think about changing. The bottom may be something very simple like being disciplined at work. This is how it happens.  Businesses learn how to say no to addictive behaviour in the workplace through their new understanding, policies and actions. Doing nothing is the worst plan. It is about recognizing the problem, setting boundaries and sticking to them. The addict is changed because they finally have to face themselves. The workplace can help where no one else can. There can be no argument with this philosophy as long as the process is enacted fairly and communicated thoroughly. Understand that there is a solution even if the addict does not want to change. The solution may be that the addict sobers up or goes somewhere else to work.

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Workplace Can Help Where Others Can’t

There is usually still allot of potential in an employee who is sent to for a substance abuse assessment. They are not down and out and usually have family support at some level. They have money coming it and have the appearance of a normal life. They have resources to aid in their recovery. I find that this is an excellent time to work with an employee that has a problem. Sometimes they don’t think so but I still do.

The workplace can be a place of support for employees in another way as well. Due to safety regulations and also testing the workplace can act as a deterrent for a person who does use alcohol and drugs in any sort of a problematic way.  If the policy mandates reasonable cause or reasonable suspicion testing workers realize that they may be caught if they use. Knowing that there may be consequences to one’s behavior helps to create a more healthy thought process in the employee and also aids in reinforcing a culture of safety. It acts as a deterrence measure. Rather than be an invasion of human rights it is a boundary set by the workplace that is actually a win-win situation for all. The workplace becomes safer and the employee has to think hard about using substances.

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Due Diligence in the Workplace

Due diligence Due diligence is the level of judgement, care, prudence, determination, and activity that a person would reasonably be expected to do under particular circumstances. Applied to occupational health and safety, due diligence means that employers shall take all reasonable precautions, under the particular circumstances, to prevent injuries or accidents in the workplace. This duty also applies to situations that are not addressed elsewhere in the occupational health and safety legislation. To exercise due diligence, an employer must implement a plan to identify possible workplace hazards and carry out the appropriate corrective action to prevent accidents or injuries arising from these hazards. (CSOHS)

If you know that there is a potential dangerous situation and you fail to make it known to the proper people and something bad happens, you could be held accountable.

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