Intervention for an Employee

Sometimes in the workplace we encounter uncomfortable situations involving a coworker who has a drug or alcohol problem. If you know that one of your coworkers has such a problem, you have a responsibility to try to make sure that that individual receives some help. After all, having employees with drug or alcohol problems can be a huge liability not only for companies, but for fellow coworkers as well.

Helping a coworker, however, does not involve confronting that person in a hostile or forceful manner. If you know the individual on a personal level, then it might be acceptable for you to initiate a conversation with him or her about the drug or alcohol problem, and try to get the person to seek treatment for the addiction. Talking to friends and really listening to them is sometimes a great way to get through to them about a serious problem that they have that they would rather not talk about, or even admit to having.

These situations must be handled with tact, however.

If you do not know someone on a personal level, you should not approach that individual directly to discuss his or her addiction. Instead, try talking to a human resources representative about the issue. Many companies have programs that are designed to help employees who have substance abuse problems. These programs are not intended to get people in trouble or cause them to lose their jobs. They are, in fact, created to provide a way for employees to receive help when they might otherwise not have the means or resources to seek that help.

If an employee has tried to stop his or her drug or alcohol use unsuccessfully, then the person may need to seek treatment at a substance abuse facility. Friends, family members, and in some cases employers can all help addicted individuals through an intervention if all other attempts at ceasing drug or alcohol use have failed.

Interventions should only be carried out by trained, licensed professionals. Conducting an intervention is a very delicate matter and should always be handled by those who know exactly what they are doing. In some cases, professional help lines will be able to direct you to qualified intervention specialists in your area. As you search for the right person, make sure that you check his or her credentials to ensure that you choose the most qualified person to help the employee who is in trouble.