Toll Free 1 (888) 371-5722

Employer intervention for drug abuseAs an employer, you may find yourself considering whether an intervention for drug use will benefit your business and the employee with the problem.  It is quite possible and increasingly common for employers to take initiative and plan interventions when they identify addictive behaviors.

What Is Entailed in an Employer Intervention for Drug Abuse?

If the employee’s addiction is severe enough that you have noticed its manifestation, it will not be long before you find yourself in a position where you are forced to choose between firing the employee or making sure that he gets professional help.  In some cases, this will be because the employee’s attendance and performance are no longer satisfactory.  In more extreme cases, the employee may be stealing from the company or from others who work there in order to fund his addiction.  He is likely lying and cannot be trusted with any tasks or information of importance.  He may also be creating a toxic environment for other employees and their performance will be suffering as well because they are uncomfortable, angry or afraid.

There are several downsides to firing the employee.  On a practical level, you face the time and expense involved in finding a replacement and training the new employee.  In some cases, you may face a lawsuit for wrongful termination, losses or benefits if the person you fired thinks that you do not have proof to justify termination or that you did not follow procedures to the letter. On a human level, you may just want to help a person who has a disease that requires treatment.

Once you have decided to stage an intervention, be prepared.

  • Consider which other employees to include.  Do not make a large public announcement that the intervention is going to take place.  Rather, use your knowledge of the workplace dynamic to select those who were most harmed or who may be closest to the employee.
  • Talk to an interventionist.  Many will speak with you free of charge and give you the benefit of their expertise in everything from where to hold the intervention to how to phrase your comments to be most productive.
  • Know where your employee can go for treatment and even call ahead to make sure he can be admitted.
  • Arrange for transportation directly from the intervention to the treatment facility.
  • Look into whether your employee’s insurance plan will cover or contribute anything to treatment.

If you are considering staging an employer intervention for your employee in Tennessee, you’ll find more great resources and help from the experts at (888) 371-5722.