Friday, June 29, 2012

Why Teach Supervisors about Substance Abuse and Addiction?

I knew some one ask me this question, "If supervisors are not supposed to diagnose alcohol- or drug-addicted employees, why are signs and symptoms of an employee with a possible alcohol or other drug problem, like alcohol on the breath a good thing to give to supervisor training?" Folks, you know that addiction is the most misunderstood health problem in world history. This means that it you don't give supervisors accurate information about addiction, they will remain in total ignorance about the problem and vulnerable to manipulation by drug using or alcoholic employees. Yes, it is a good thing to provided supervisors with common performance-related signs and symptoms too. In fact, it is critical to have a comprehensive list. However, the a really strong grounding in signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction must also be provided so supervisors are dispelled of their own myths and misconceptions. It is these myths and misconceptions, along with codependency and enabling that keeps addicted persons ill in society. Interrupting this pattern is a what accurate information about substance abuse is all about. Take a look at the drug and alcohol education center to learn more. Some performance symptoms may be more common among employees with alcohol or other drug problems, like absenteeism. But these are not diagnostic of alcoholism. Alcohol on the breath may be a performance issue upon which to base a supervisor referral, but it alone has little diagnostic value as well. Training supervisors helps them avoid natural inclinations to focus on images, myths, or stereotypes of addicted persons and then completely avoid confronting a troubled employee. Still information that tackles the myths prepares managers to do the most good when they meet up with both an under-performer who also happens to be an alcoholic or drug dependent person.