The stark reality about substance abuse is that at some point during a person’s addiction, their malady will invariably spill into other aspects of their life. While an addiction can reveal itself at family gatherings and other social events, the most apparent place for an addict to come clean, so to speak, is at work.

This is because at some point an addiction can only hamper a person’s work performance – not improve or steady it. And once a decline in one’s work performance is recognized, that decline could immediately put a person’s career in jeopardy. This can create anxiety and fear on top of one’s addiction.

If you are an addict and afraid of getting fired at work there are, of course, ways you can address your ailment and still keep your job. But you have to be willing to put in that particular work.


According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc1 the impact of drugs and alcohol in the workplace tends to focus on four major issues:

  • Premature death and/or fatal accidents among assumed substance abusers.
  • Injuries and accident rates among assumed substance abusers.
  • Absenteeism and/or extra sick leave.
  • Lapses in productivity.

These issues not only put your health and safety at risk but puts your employer at risk as well as fellow employees. Your employer, for example, could be hit with higher workplace insurance rates due to an accident which may have been caused in part by your ailment. Or just as likely, a workmate could get hurt because of your addiction.

The result of this may not only be a reprimand from your employer, or even termination, but also strong feelings of guilt on your part which in the end might contribute more heavily to your addiction.


Sooner or later – hopefully sooner than later – you will need to confront yourself about your work performance and how it could be hampered by your addiction. Some telltale signs of addiction to consider for yourself and your career are:

  • Showing up to work late and/or showing up hung over.
  • Drinking or taking drugs during breaks or while at lunch.
  • Missing job-related deadlines.
  • Continual excuses for your loss of work performance.

If you fall prey to any of the above signs, and you feel your addiction is due to your drinking or drug taking, it is imperative that you immediately address your ailments. Be proactive if you can, particularly if your career is on the line.


If you feel you have a substance abuse issue which is affecting your work performance, you might want to consider telling your employer about your ailment. In most cases, your employer will probably appreciate your honesty, as well as offer you advice and/or help for your addiction.

In some cases, a business’s human resource department can steer you toward a treatment facility from which you can seek steps and processes to end your addiction.

In short, if you can’t stop your addiction on your own, consider going to the people who your ailment may affect the most which in this case are those you work with. Again, you have to be proactive before your addiction adversely affects you, your career, and those you work with.


Work and your workmates are one thing, but your health needs to be considered first. Yes, careers, if not jobs, are difficult to find. However, if you do take action to end your addiction, there is a good chance your job will still be available to you even if you take time off to enter a recovery center.

For most addiction sufferers, their affliction can quickly spin out of control and infiltrate portions of their lives for which they never intended. Come to grips with your addiction, particularly if it has begun to spill over into your work life. As important as your career is, your health is just as, if not more important.

If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.


  1. Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace, NCADD. Retrieved 2016.

Are You an Addict and Afraid of Getting Fired at Work?