You show up to work every day. You’re on time and you do your job. You work hard, and if you’re a manager, you are responsible for the productivity and actions of other people. Now, add another layer. You have an employee who is high on amphetamines. What do you do?
The dangers of employees on amphetamines in the workplace have consequences, not only for the employee using the drug but also for co-workers, customers, and equipment. Drug use is linked directly to lost productivity, employee absenteeism, theft, low morale, injuries and even death in the workplace. Employees using amphetamines on the job can cause higher health care premiums, workers’ compensation costs and legal issues.
Dangers & Effects of Amphetamines in the Workplace
Effects of Amphetamines
First, let’s discuss the amphetamines and how they affect the user. They are a stimulant and are available with a doctor’s prescription or illegally. They produce feelings of exhilaration, excitement or euphoria and often make users feel more energetic and alert. Users may feel more superior, powerful and have increased confidence. Amphetamines are easily addictive due to developing tolerances, which lead the user to take higher doses to get the same feelings.
Dangers in Workplace
When carefully controlled and prescribed by a doctor, Amphetamine use is not usually the problem. The major problem is when the users take higher than prescribed levels of amphetamines or use them. Any type of drug abuse in the workplace creates an unnecessary risk due to impaired functioning and altered mind states. It’s not a safe environment.
With amphetamine abusers, the typical “binge” pattern includes:
Intoxication phase lasting a couple of days to weeks that includes all the euphoria and excitement derived by the drug.amphetamines
Abstinence phase that is usually shorter and makes the user feel tired, withdrawn or like they have crashed.
Dangerous conditions and results of an employee who is using amphetamines:
While operating machinery or driving, they take unnecessary risks and drive in an aggressive way.
Once the drug effects wear off, the driver may be drowsy and fall asleep at the wheel or while operating a vehicle or machinery.
It is illegal to drive under the influence of any drug.
Lack of judgement and coordination
Customer service may be affected because a person using amphetamines may become more talkative, excited, energetic and full of confidence; however, users may also become hostile, aggressive and anxious.
The employees attitude and work performance can be like a roller coaster, great for a while but the effects will not last. Once the drug has worn off, users may be depressed, tense, have varied mood swings, violent and ultimately exhausted.
It is easy to see how amphetamine use in the workplace could lead to both physical and mental dangers. Drug use, including amphetamines and methamphetamines, can cause your company to lose money from higher health care and workers’ comp premiums, accidents and employee turnover.
As a manager, you are responsible for the safety and well being of employees and customers, as well as the physical property and assets. The best way to thwart the dangers of amphetamine use in the workplace is to have a drug policy and testing procedure in place. Whether it’s pre-employment or random, employees should be aware that the use of non-prescribed and illegal drugs is not permitted in the workplace.
For more information, download our free e-book Drug Testing in the Business World. What Every Company Needs to Know.
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