Friday, August 26, 2011

Let me offer a little brain teaser

An employee tests positive for marijuana is evaluated and referred to an addiction treatment program. Fine enough, but then this employee is in treatment getting more education about alcohol and marijuana. She calls you up and says, "get me out of here", they think I am an alcoholic.
What are you going to do?

I have seen supervisors fall prey to this game and give permission for their employee to leave! Assuming your employee is not alcoholic, several factors may explain her treatment. The most important is the nature of effective addiction treatment, which is founded on helping patients see the need to remain abstinent from all mood-altering substances, including alcohol. Because alcohol is legal and easily obtained, a strong emphasis on understanding alcoholism and on acquiring motivation for abstinence is needed. Your employee is being treated for addictive disease. Her drug of choice may be marijuana. The continued use of alcohol is a key predictor of eventual use of the primary drug of choice for any addict. Although understanding the harmful effects of marijuana is important, your employee will hear a lot about alcohol in any effective treatment program. The recovery principles are virtually the same no matter what the drug of choice.