Signs of Drug Abuse in the Workplace

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It’s no secret that the abuse of opiates and other drugs has been on the rise for the past few years so how, besides giving employees a drug test, can you know if a worker is using? Here are few physical signs, behavioral signs and psychological signs to to look for:

Physical Warning Signs:

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination

Behavioral Warning Signs:

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems; may borrow or steal to get it
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
  • Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities)

Psychological Warning Signs:

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
  • Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out”
  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason

(Source: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/drug-abuse-and-addiction.htm)








Murder # 1 Cause of Death for Women at Work

OSHA stats tell us that the number one cause of death in the workplace is slips, trips and falls. What it doesn’t tell us is that most of the people who make up this number are men and that if deaths are distinguished by sex, the story is very different. Turns out that the number one cause of death at work for women is actually murder (while car accident numbers are actually higher, I’m not counting them because women who die in car accidents are actually not technically at work yet or have already left work).

According to an article in the Washington PostThe murder threat for women is different. Both sexes die most often at the hands of robbers, and both also murdered at about the same rate by co-workers. But more than a third of women murdered at work are killed by boyfriends, spouses, exes or other relatives. For men, that category of killer is almost zero.

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Read the complete story


NSC Wants Workplace Policies for Painkiller Use

From the National Safety Council website:

“A new report by the National Safety Council examines recent court decisions in which injured workers died from an overdose of pain medications.

This report identifies:

– When opioid-related overdose is compensable.

– How to protect your injured workers from potential dangers of opioid pain medications.

– How employers can reduce the risk of compensable costs associated with opioid use or related to opioid use.

After sign-up, you will receive an email from customerservice@nsc.org with a link to view and download the report. If you do not receive the email within a few minutes, first check your junk mail folder or email us at rxsafety@nsc.org. Sometimes our emails get blocked or caught by your spam filter. Remember to add this email address to your safe sender list through your email provider to avoid updates being blocked or going to your junk mail.”

Download the report