Professionals with drug and alcohol problems

Drug & alcohol problems at work

Explaining to your boss

Although it might seem daunting, approaching your line manager, HR manager or senior manager about your alcohol or drug problem is better done sooner rather than later.

You may have managed to hide your alcohol or drug abuse from your colleagues and managers, but the problem will only get worse, or perhaps your colleagues and managers have already noticed the signs of addiction and the change in your behaviour.

Denying your problem and trying to cover up will not make the problem go away. You have a higher chance of successful treatment, backed up with support from your employer, the sooner you seek help.

What steps should you take?

  • Speak to someone sooner rather than later;
  • Examine your company's alcohol and drug policy if there is one. If they do not have a policy then read their healthcare policy for sick employees;
  • Know your rights and responsibilities as an employee;
  • Talk confidentially to your line manager about your alcohol or drug problem, they are likely to have noticed a change in your behaviours already. They should offer you specialist counselling, a referral to an occupational physician, or time off work for you to attend rehab;
  • Look into your treatment options in advance and talk to your GP and/or your company's Occupational Health Physician.