Sunday, August 31, 2014

Understanding Drug Tolerance

Drug and Alcohol Awareness Programs will help supervisors understand the behavioral differences between non–alcoholic and alcoholics, which are caused by the nervous system’s ability to tolerate larger quantities of alcohol and still function. Employees dealing with alcoholism may drink in the morning and hide alcohol in order to drink when needed, but without being seen or detected. There have been reports on recovering workers that admit to using Vodka as the drink of choice in their later years because the smell was least detectable. An example of a drug tolerance difference is blackouts, which demonstrate the nervous system’s adaption to alcohol. It is rare for a non-alcoholic to have a blackout because most social drinkers will pass out, fall asleep, or throw up before encountering a blackout.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Proper Confrontation with Employees Dealing with Addictions

DOT Training Programs will help supervisors take early action in response to addressing job performance problems, which increases the rate by which addicts are helped due to earlier referral to employee assistance programs. A history of strong contributions to the organization by the alcoholic or drug addict inhibits referrals to the EAP when problems emerge. The fear of job loss is a powerful motivator to consider treatment. This is why EAPs have worked so well in getting employees into treatment because this leverage is frequently more powerful than fear of family breakup for the alcoholic or addict.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Diagnosing Employees with Drug and Alcohol Addictions

Discussing an employee’s possible drinking or drug problem invites a discussion about what to do about it. Such employees with alcoholism or drug addiction problems may seek help from time to time, but is frequently the wrong help, misdirected, not professionally monitored, or improper and they will always seek help that least interferes with continued drinking. 

Understanding the supervisor is no match for a “one on one” with the alcoholic or addict should be addressed in DOT supervisor drug and alcohol training since this type of discussion could lead to the supervisor mistakenly diagnosing the employee that needs to seek professional help.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Enabling Employees with Addictions

As long as you are in a relationship with an alcoholic or drug addict, it will be very difficult not to enable. Enabling is something that people do who are in relationships with alcoholics or drug addicts so these could family, friends, and of course, coworkers. Enabling may be covering up for a coworker, protecting the coworker from consequences or letting your own drinking or drug use interfere with your decision to take a stand and deal directly with your employee's job performance problem.To help protect the workplace and the employee dealing with addiction, it's key to include characteristics of enabling in the alcohol and drug awareness training to insure enabling is not happening in the supervisors role.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cost of Substance Abuse in the Workplace

To help learners in DOT Supervisor Training programs, get concrete. A workforce with 300 employees will be comprised of about 18 alcoholic employees. They won't all be drunk on the job. Some will be in early stages of the disease, others will miss work frequently on Mondays, Friday's and the day after payday. These employees average approximately 75% their efficiency level. This means that there is a 25% loss of productivity. This includes higher costs associated with accidents, insurance, property damage, theft, sick leave, and fringe benefits use and abuse.

Preview our DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training Course to Meet the Two Hour Supervisor Training Mandate

Monday, August 25, 2014

Problems in the Workplace Caused by Denial of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Denial is a defense mechanism that works hand-in-hand with myths and misconceptions about addiction. Denial is used to avoid awareness and is reinforced by others who are willing to participate in it. Alcohol or drug addicts with job problems who are in denial about their addiction are often convinced that other problems cause their job performance shortcomings. Such employees are able to convince the supervisor that these other problems are primary. Make sure that your DOT training includes a guide that helps supervisors identify denial tactics employees use to cover alcohol and drug addictions, which in turn will help improve job performance and point employees struggling with addiction in the right direction.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Workplace Problems Often Linked to Drug and Alcohol Abuse Off the Job

Alcoholism/Drug Addiction is always first to be treated in the presence of other personal problems. Often the problems are directly caused by the primary health care problem--addiction. DOT supervisors normally will become aware of a variety of personal problems long before obvious alcohol or drug problems are observed.  These are often symptoms of the alcohol or drug problem, but are mistakenly believed to be causes rather than symptoms. This can keep supervisors baffled and postponing a drug or alcohol test. Indeed problems may contribute to this disease but other problems do not cause alcoholism and drug addiction.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cocaine on the Job: What Will You See (Probably Not Much to Trigger a DOT Drug and Alcohol Mandatory Test)

Employees may use cocaine, but the truth--it is not a drug that sticks around very long in the body making it detectable like Marijuana (which may linger in the fat tissue or urine for up to 30 days). A DOT drug test of a late night employee, perhaps someone who came on the graveyard shift after partying with other drug using friends, may be a candidate for a reasonable suspicion drug test, but it is unlikely Cocaine will prompt reasonable suspicion. It is more likely to be hyperactivity, possible intoxication on the job due to alcohol use, which  has more behavioral signs and symptoms that will trigger the request.

Cocaine was first used as an anesthetic in eye surgery in the 1880's.  It constricts blood vessels while
providing a topical anesthetic.  Softer drugs eventually made it obsolete.  Novocaine was one such drug.  Cocaine is often diluted with a variety of substances before being sold.  This could be almost any inert white powdery substance. Not a good thing for Cocaine users to be sure.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Be cautious when doing DOT Drug and Alcohol Training: Avoid This Classic Mistake

DOT Supervisor Training and Awareness program is not designed to teach supervisors how to diagnose alcoholism or drug addiction. You will provide supervisors with information necessary to increase awareness about troubled employee behaviors and help supervisors avoid mismanagement of employees who may have alcohol or drug problems overtly displayed or completely unrecognized. Yes, signs and symptoms are important, but a long list of troubled employee behaviors in many cases may be even more important.