Public Service Workers And Addiction

02/28/19: Addiction \ Addiction Recovery

Just how common is addiction in our society today? More common than you think! There are over 20 million Americans, out of the 327 million, that struggle with some form of addiction. Sadly, the numbers keep growing and growing. An even more alarming statistic tells us that 1 in 10 full-time workers in the U.S. struggle with drug abuse.

Substance abuse can cause some serious harm for someone. Addiction is a mental and physical dependency that can seriously affect the general well-being of a person. This disruption of a person’s well-being can have a huge impact on their overall performance in life, especially in the workplace. When a public service worker struggles with addiction, their performance at work can decline significantly. Loss of productivity, poor attitude, and disheveled appearances are very common amongst public service workers struggling with addiction. Another big issue that comes with drug addiction in public service workers is the financial cost they bring on their companies. They end up making more frequent trips to hospitals and costing their companies more money for their medical bills.

Yes, these statistics and facts are all very alarming for companies, but stop and think for a second on what the abuser is going through. These stats do not highlight the pain and suffering these addicts go through on a day-to-day basis. People that struggle with substance abuse always have a reason for abusing drugs/alcohol. Deteriorating health, bad home life, financial struggles, etc. are just some issues that people with addiction commonly struggle with. In this blog, we will discuss substance abuse among public service workers, why it happens, and what can be done.

Addiction In The Workplace

When it comes to drug abuse with public service workers, an avalanche of issues can arise from their addiction:

  • Low work performance
  • Low efficiency
  • Low energy
  • Poor attitude/irritation
  • Lack of concentration
  • Low morale
  • Illicit activities
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Theft
  • Failure to meet deadlines

The Costs

Not only does a person pay a heavy cost on their health when they struggle with addiction, but the companies they work for can also pay a heavy cost if they keep them on board. Public service workers’ addiction at work can be measured through injuries, low work morale, theft, low productivity, absences, insurance claims, and even death.

As we discussed, addiction can be a huge issue for people in the workplace. Someone that struggles with addiction is more likely to:

  • Injure themselves or their co-workers (One national study tells us that approximately 16% of emergency visitors that come in from work injuries have some substance in their system.)
  • Be less productive with their job
  • File more claims for injuries
  • Take more sick leave than the average worker

There is a rising concern when it comes to addiction amongst public service workers. These workers are responsible for trustworthy, satisfactory, and co-effective services and if addiction gets in the way of that, it may cost them, their companies, and society big time.

Factors That Contribute To Addiction

Addiction is a something that is becoming a bigger issue in the public workers field, but how does it happen? Here are some of the factors that contribute to these workers addictions.

  1. Culture

One of the biggest factors for addiction amongst public service workers is culture. Culture plays a huge influence on everyone in the world. Apple and Google are huge figures in our culture so people use their products all the time. If culture tells you something is good, you’ll want to agree. The same thing can apply in the workplace. If co-workers drink during work hours or go out after work hours, this can encourage addiction. The culture of a public service sector decides whether drinking and drug use is acceptable and supported or frowned upon and inhibited. All it takes is one bad apple to spoil the whole batch.

  1. Peer Pressure

Playing off of the culture aspect, if co-workers are encouraging a person to drink or consume an illicit substance at work, the person may fall victim to peer pressure. If the person refuses, the co-workers may try and exclude the person from office culture, thus encouraging the person to give in even more. A worker who does not drink or take drugs may feel left out in a group of people who do. With the fear of jeopardizing their working relationships and the natural desire to gel in, it is not a surprise if they start drinking or taking drugs.

  1. Home Life

The last, and one of the most important and telling factors for addiction is a person’s home life. This factor can be applied to pretty much any addict. What is the person’s home life like? Is there something outside of the office that is encouraging them to fall deeper into addiction? Most often, a person is abusing substances because they are trying to suppress something. A bad breakup, abusive relationship, broken family, etc. can all have huge effects on whether or not a person may fall victim to addiction.

What To Do About It

A big reason for why these addicts continue their poor behaviors is because they do not have the means of getting help. I can be hard to admit oneself into a rehab facility, but public service companies can implement some sort of programs that help a person address their behaviors in hopes to fix them. Supervisors also need to be properly trained to identify behaviors of people who struggle with addiction and help them find the assistance they need in order to live sober.

Content for Arizona Addiction by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment and technology. Advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best. www.cohn.media


If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact 602-737-1619 or email info@arizonaaddiction.com to get the help you need. Our acclaimed recovery environment merges upscale, luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare.

Recent Posts