How Drug Addiction Can Impact Work Life

Most of us are aware of the negative impact that drug addiction can have on your personal life. Drug addiction can wreak havoc on relationships, contribute to health complications, and lead people down a difficult path.

Drug addiction can also impact a person’s work life, and the way in which it does this can be varied and complicated. Not everyone who ends up addicted to drugs loses their job, but they will most likely experience some difficulties because of their addiction.

This article will discuss some of the issues that drug addiction may present to a user in the workplace.

Relationship Problems

Unless you’re self-employed and don’t have to deal with any clients whatsoever (which is, essentially, impossible) you’re going to have a number of relationships to attend to in any given workplace. You develop relationships with your coworkers and your employers, and the quality of these relationships often has an impact on workplace enjoyability and your success.

As a drug addict or alcoholic, you will most likely have to struggle in some of these relationships. The nature of drug addiction causes it to interfere with all relationships, whether they are personal or professional.

You will most likely find yourself having to lie or cover up your drug addiction, which can lead to trust problems and difficulties. It’s also hard to maintain a stable relationship with anyone if you’re frequently dealing with the ups and downs of drug addiction.


If you’re struggling with a drug addiction, then you will probably experience some issues with attendance at work.

  • You may find that you’re often late. If you’re waiting for a dealer to deliver you a fix before work, and they’re late, then you’re most likely going to end up late for work. If not, then you risk showing up for work in withdrawal.

  • You may find that you miss days of work because of drug sickness and withdrawal symptoms.


If people that you work with find out that you’re using drugs or alcohol, you may have to deal with judgment. Unfortunately, there is still a significant stigma against the use of drugs or alcohol. This can be very difficult for those who are addicted.

This is especially true if you’re known to be using drugs at work. Even if you’re capable of doing your work, most people are unwilling to accept this and will instead judge you or discredit your efforts.

So serious is this stigma that many employers will fire someone if they’re rumored to be using drugs or alcohol at work. Even if your coworkers don’t know what you’re using, you will likely spend a great deal of time trying to hide your usage from others.


Drug and alcohol addiction can make it very difficult for someone to enjoy their work. Missing work, lying to coworkers, and feeling judged can all make work-life unpleasant. If you’re having trouble maintaining your job because of your addiction, don’t hesitate to seek help.

Written by Nigel Ford

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