As an employer you want to ensure your colleague gets the right support and treatment they need to get back on track. Having this conversation can be difficult, especially if you haven’t dealt with issues regarding addiction in the workplace before. Choosing an appropriate time and place to raise these concerns in private would be most suitable. Below are some common warning signs, although may not be apparent everyday.

Warning signs of alcohol and drug misuse-
  • Unexplained or frequent absences
  • A change in behaviour
  • Unexplained dips in productivity
  • More accidents or near-misses
  • Performance or conduct issues
  • Persistent poor health
  • Visible signs or smells of intoxication from alcohol
  • Posting about substances across social media


As a colleague you probably spend more time with your team member than your own family, and cannot bear to see them going through such difficult times. Have you been making excuses or covering for them? Fearing they could lose their job? Enabling your colleague will only make matters worse. It’s allowing the disease to progress, and your colleague will continue to abuse alcohol or drugs without any consequences.

For further information about signs and symptoms of alcohol or drug addiction please click here.
To avoid enabling, refrain from –

  • Taking over their own responsibilities at work
  • Counselling them
  • Allowing family members to call in sick for them
  • Lending them money
  • Allowing them to turn up late
  • Allowing their jobs to be passed onto others

Sadly, the impact of recreational and dependent substance misuse can significant impact the performance and a company’s health and safety in the workplace. Either way, Steps Together can help you secure the best treatment and support for your colleague, whilst ensuring they discreetly get the right support and treatment, helping them feel a valued member of the team.

At Steps Together we work with employers to develop a bespoke range of training programmes that support excellent awareness and education about addiction and its effects, whilst supporting you to develop effective drug and alcohol in the workplace policies or procedures that maintain your excellent health and safety practices, and preserve your commercial reputation.

If you think someone you work with is struggling with alcohol addiction or substance abuse, please talk to one of our experienced treatment advisers today to find the best range of services for you and your colleague 0330 175 7031.