workplace interventionsIn many offices, individuals are more than just coworkers; they’re also friends. When one of these individuals develops a drug addiction or alcohol problem, the team feels a shared responsibility to get that person help. Getting help for that person might also be vital for the safety of the team, as Consumer Affairs reports that substance abuse might play a role in workplace accidents. In one quoted study, researchers found opiates in a urine test provided after an accident four times more often than they found opiates in urine tests of people who weren’t in accidents. Being under the influence at work can be emotionally damaging, but it might also translate into real injury to coworkers.

Understanding the problem is vital, but coworkers might need to do more than just listen. In fact, they might need to confront the person about the addiction in a structured and supportive conversation known as an intervention. Here, the coworkers discuss the issue openly with the person in need, and they press that person to accept the help a treatment program can provide. The goal of the workplace intervention is to get the individual to admit to the problem, and enroll that person in a treatment program that will help.


Step 1: Contact an Interventionist

While coworkers might feel comfortable discussing almost anything, a talk about addiction is just a little more sensitive, as it might involve issues regarding:

  • Physical health
  • Financial stability
  • Longevity
  • Mental health
  • Parental duties

These aren’t the sorts of topics that can come up around the water cooler, but they’re vital in an intervention. Hiring a professional can help coworkers to put together a talk that hits all the important points of addiction, without delving into any language that isn’t considered helpful. An intervention professional helps make sure the environment is a safe one and that the right dialogue will transpire during the process.


Step 2: Develop a Plan of Action

For an intervention to run smoothly, everyone needs to know their roles and what they plan to say. Certain statements sound better coming from certain people, and nobody wants to do more harm than good by being overly confrontational. A plan lays out everything that must be addressed in order to move the individual toward drug rehab. It’s common for people to write letters that dictate the changes seen as a result of the addiction, as well as a plea for the person to get treatment. Letters shouldn’t be combative, but they should be complete and detailed, providing an unflinching view of how the addiction is impacting the person in question.


Step 3: Prepare

Rehearsals allow everyone to come together to outline what they’re planning to say. The meeting also gives everyone a chance to review their roles and make sure that members of the team are all on the same page. An interventionist might also provide guidance in this meeting, providing information on how addictions progress and how the talk might go down.


Step 4: Hold the Intervention

At the appointed time, the group comes together with the addicted person to share all of the information they’ve gathered during their practice sessions. Ideally, as the talk progresses, coworkers help the individual see how their drug or alcohol use has affected everyone in the office and at home. The meeting generally takes one to two hours and features a non-judgmental dialogue but urges the individual to seek help.


Step 5: Get to Treatment

If the individual admits that he or she has a problem, things move fast from this point. Members of the group should personally escort the individual to a predetermined drug treatment facility and help him or her enroll in the program.


The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that nearly 75 percent of all adults who use illicit drugs are employed. If you think your coworker has an addiction issue, and you’d like to talk about providing help, contact Michael’s House today. Our facility offers professional treatment for any number of drug addictions, including cocaine, heroin, prescription painkillers, marijuana, alcohol and more. We can also expedite the enrollment process, so the intervention ends smoothly with no long blocks of time devoted to paperwork. Please call us to find out more.