Does a Small Amount of Substance Abuse Really Affect the Workplace?

We all have our little habits in which we should not indulge. Some of us drive a couple of miles over the speed limit on a regular basis. Some of us tell a few white lies to smooth out the kinks in our day. Some of us use excuses to account for being late or even just being lazy. However, these little habits can only be used sparingly, because if we indulged in them too often, our personal and professional relationships would deteriorate. Our spouses would begin to distrust us, we would be accountable to the law, or we would be seen as weak or needy. So the question arises: As long as it is kept in check, does a small amount of substance abuse actually put your job in jeopardy?

The answer is: Not necessarily…in the beginning. Any habit can be kept hidden and kept under control if it is used sparingly and infrequently. Anyone can cover up just about anything if they can maintain outward appearances and if their behavior does not change noticeably. However, everyday interactions, such as those occurring at work or in the home, can lead to detection by coworkers or family members. In other words, your abuse has to be extremely small for it to not be noticed.

The problem with any type of drug or alcohol abuse is that it is almost never used sparingly and it is usually abused in larger amounts as time progresses. An article on drug abuse describes how even small amounts of drug and alcohol abuse can cause a variety of simultaneous neurological, physiological and psychological reactions within your system, encouraging you to become dependent quickly. [1] If substance abuse is used sparingly in your life to handle particularly difficult days, then it is very likely to then be used to handle less stressful occurrences, and then simply abused due to addiction. It is important to realize that this is not just another little white lie or speeding ticket. The combination of effects on the body is a powerful force, tempting you to return, even after you have recovered completely from a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Of course, there is always the chance that your boss will require random drug testing on or near the time of your infrequent relapses. Employers use regular drug and alcohol testing to keep this type of behavior in check. Contact CMM Technology today: +618-9204-2500.

1. “Drug Abuse: Hedonic Homeostatic Dysregulation.” ScienceMag.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 May 2011. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/278/5335/52.short.

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