SUBSTANCE ABUSE AT THE WORK PLACE: THE PROBLEM AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

  • Lobelo Mogorosi Department of Social Work, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Abstract

Personal problems, including substance abuse, often impinge on employees’ job performanceand therefore productivity. This paper discusses substance abuse as an example of anemployee problem at the workplace that can be addressed through services such as employeeassistance programmes (EAPs). The use and abuse of substances occur for a number ofreasons, including misguided ones, such as a person trying to “forget problems” at home,socially or at work. In relation to work, the effects are enormous, such as employeeabsenteeism, workplace injuries, as well as damage to expensive workplace equipment andproperty. Aspects discussed in the paper include factors that help “enable” the abuse of suchsubstances within the work environment, factors that indicate deteriorating employee workperformance, as well as possible ways to deal with the problem at the workplace. The paperconcludes with a discussion of possible workplace policies and programmatic solutions onhow to deal with the problem.

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Published
2014-06-18
Section
Articles