Addiction to drugs or alcohol is a serious health condition which takes a serious toll on the entire life of an individual caught up in such addictions. Not only are addicts at risk for severe and even fatal health consequences, they also experience a lot of strife in their daily lives, especially when it comes to holding down a job.

The majority of employers have established some type of rule when it comes to missing work. Especially for individuals working under probationary rules, missing work can easily lead to termination. Many addicts are able to show up for work and perform their duties without missing a beat, while others are barely able to function especially after bingeing during time off. These call-offs can certainly lead to demotion or termination, leaving many addicts in jeopardy of being unemployable.

Many with addictions are unable to cope with the day as they deal with depression, feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, and fear of failure. Due to these intense emotions, the cycle of addiction continues on as individuals use alcohol and drugs to numb themselves from the pain of daily life.

In many addiction situations, co-workers and employers are able to notice an obvious change in the individual on a daily basis but there are also many addicts good at hiding what they do after hours. This poses a great danger to all other workers on the job when working with an impaired co-worker. It is vital that every employer have not only a protocol for missing too much work and unexcused absences but also for handling those who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the job. Additionally, employers should consider making resources available which allow workers to seek help for their addictions without fear of termination or judgment. While impaired individuals should not be allowed to work, at-work resources may be their only link to getting help, support, and the treatment they so desperately need.