5 ways drinking, smoking pot & substance abuse impacts careers

5 ways drinking, smoking pot & substance abuse impacts careersSubstance abuse impacts careers. Yes, there are differences of opinions on using substances. There are pro people who are eager to legalize marijuana and people who see no issues with binge drinking. They see it as a right or a way to have a good time. Some people will even use the same argument to justify snorting cocaine, smoking crack, doing meth, abusing prescription meds, and every other drug out there, including heroin, bath salts, LSD, and more.

Substance abuse impacts careers.  but are we approving of working and living stoned?

We have become a nation who thinks working and living impaired is the way to go. You may call it stoned or high but the reality is we justifying reasons to avoid living without substances. Substance abuse is destroying lives at an epidemic rate and not only the lives of the user but the lives of everyone around them.

I think it is time to share why I think people need to take another look at substance abuse at every level and understand the impact it can have on your career. Let’s look at one of the myths and issues with substance abuse as it relates to your career.

Drinking, smoking or using drugs doesn’t impact my work

Really? Coming to work with a hang-over or worse drinking or smoking marijuana or doing other drugs before work or during lunch impacts your ability to function effectively. You may think that you are still functioning at peak performance but I can guarantee that you are not.

  • Manufacturing industry? Are you using saws or power tools? The risk of injury goes up when you are using substances. You put yourself at risk of injury and your co-workers too. Your judgment is clouded, you make mistakes, you just produce much slower.
  • Financial services office and work on a computer? Your brain is clouded and your ability to rapidly process slows down when you are impaired. You may make decisions that harm your customer’s financial picture.
  • Health care? If you are a doctor or nurse, surgical technician, or radiologic technician, are you putting your patients at risk because you think substances don’t matter? You may even feed your habit at work?
  • Transportation industry, perhaps an over-the-road truck driver, taxi driver, bus driver, airline pilot, ship captain? You may make an error that could take someone’s life.
  • Construction,  a contractor, building or repairing homes or commercial sites? You could fall from a roof, make costly mistakes, or create an accident situation for other workers.

These are five industry examples but you can think about almost any other industry and reasons why using substances will cause havoc to your ability to properly perform your job. Even if you are a top executive, your decision-making process is flawed when you let substance abuse (which includes alcohol) rule your life. Substance abuse impacts careers.

Company owners and upper management have to take a serious look at this issue because increasingly it is causing issues that affect revenue growth and job safety. If this is an issue for you, you need to take steps to free yourself from that lifestyle. If you are an employer, you need to research the issue and implement drug testing and employee education programs. The future of your business may be at stake.

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  1. Andrew Plath on June 19, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    OSHA requires that anyone involved in an industrial accident be tested for drugs. Operating heavy equipment such as a tow motor while under the influence of drugs or alcohol puts all other personnel around the operator at risk for injury and,even death.

    • Julie Walraven on June 19, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      Very true. I wrote this post because I hear the argument so often that I can do what I want but really you are putting people at risk if you have drugs or alcohol in your system and go to work.

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