Addiction is an ugly beast – it has the propensity to ruin relationships, finances and careers. And while many people might believe they’ve got a handle on what ‘addiction’ looks like – would you actually be able to spot an employee in trouble?

A recent report from addiction support services found that many workers are afraid to confront their employer about personal addiction problems – with one in five employees thinking their boss would immediately fire them, should they find out the truth.

But can we really blame our workers for this notion? Employers have a duty of care to their staff, both legally and ethically, which should extend to transparent addiction polices and ‘open forums’. And yet, many leaders refuse to even acknowledge the issue.

This culture of silence has prevented 36% of employees from asking for help – too afraid that this would hamper any promotions or future job offers.

The report found that 24% of younger workers – those aged between 16-24 – think their employer would give them a final warning should they admit to their problems.

Most organisations have a zero- tolerance policy around alcohol and drug use, which they require for health and safety, yet rarely have awareness of, or access to, treatment services.

Confidential support can be provided via your EAP Assist counsellor or through our online digital addiction programs.