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Dealing with Drug Use in the Workplace

Speaking to the Employer or Business Owner

The drug opioid epidemic in the U.S. is not something to take lightly. After having been declared a State of Emergency back in August, it has made many small company owners take the time to consider what their current policies are for drug use and abuse in the workplace. The odds of drug abuse taking place within a company is large, businesses across America have had to crack down on their policies or procedures when it comes to drug abuse and alcohol addiction. Based on the Department of Health and Human Services’ 2011 nationwide investigation, 18.9 people nationwide recorded drug or alcohol abuse or dependency, and out of those numbers 52% were employed.

“A lot of employers overlook the signs,” says Cali Estes, an expert drug and alcohol counselor who works with companies and individuals dealing with substance exploitation in the office.

There are a variety of physical signs of alcohol or drug addiction or dependency.

Physical signs of drug or alcohol abuse are easiest to see. Common signs are the smell of alcohol on an individual’s breath or bloodshot eyes. Other signs that are less obvious of drug and alcohol addiction are many unexcused absences, late arrival or leaving early from the job. Some drugs that are known as uppers may make the individual more energetic. Someone who is up and on foot around all the time and who looks really full of activity, but isn’t getting anything done might be expressing signs of addiction, Estes states.

The price of substance abuse in the workplace is upsetting to both small and large companies. For example, if an employee drinks a lot, uses illicit drugs or abuses recommendation medications is more likely to be injured or to make faults on the job. He or she is also more likely to overlook work and have disagreements with superiors and coworkers. While it is vital that each owner has a drug-free place of work, an employer must also have an empathetic approach toward those who abuse drugs or alcohol.

Addiction is similar to most other diseases in the sense that it can happen to anyone at any socioeconomic level, even workers who seem to be the hardest working and most devoted. It is important for employers to understand the epidemic with drugs in our country and rather than having a penalizing approach, they should enforce options for their workers to receive treatment. Employers should have a form of compassion for these individuals struggling with addiction rather than being brash with their punishments.

Any business industry can fall victim to substance abuse within their company, but smaller businesses will feel the destruction especially. Small businesses are known to not have the resources to enforce drug-free workplace regulations. Employees who struggling with drug and alcohol abuse or dependence are more likely to search for positions within smaller companies where drug-testing policies are not in place.

There are various ways that employers can lose money related to employee drug addiction. Not only missing work and the cost that comes with that, but company’s reputation can be tarnished if others are associating the business with a place that allows drug and alcohol abuse to go on unpunished or unnoticed. Competitors will take advantage of anything they can and degrade a company’s profile and spread ill-news that can be profoundly damaging.

There is no suprise that drug users are more likely to steal, lie, or make mistakes on the job. Having employees who have these characteristics is a risk. A great way to save your company, and your employees would be providing an option for a rehabilitation course. This will eventually save your company money. It may also save an employee’s life.

Aid for Employees

The formation of a drug-free workplace isn’t just about casual drug testing or having penalties for employees who use drugs. Employers should recognize that a substance misuse disorder is a physical state. This is a situation that can be cured with proper treatment, just like any other health concern. They should arrange the surrounding in such a manner that employees feel safe to express about their issue of drug addict. They should give them confidence of being treated instead of penalized.

Employers can assist their workers get access to inexpensive recovery services in several ways:

  • Make sure the company insurance plan includes coverage for substance abuse treatment or counseling
  • Give employees who abuse drugs the choice to seek treatment in private without fear of repercussions
  • Move toward employees who may be abusing drugs in a constructive, non-confrontational way
  • Cheer employees who are under pressure at work or home to discover healthy ways to handle emotional tension
  • Have counseling services available

How to spot Employees Who require Help

It’s not always as effortless to recognize employees who have a substance use disorder.

Some make it obvious, taking long lunches and coming back under the influence after a “liquid lunch” or the heroin addict who is constantly nodding off at his desk, but there are many workers who are high-performers even while under the influence. Even if an employee may never utilize drugs or alcohol at work, there may be other signs. Employers should pay attention to those who call in sick regularly or display disturbed, violent or unfocused behavior on the job.

Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Changes in behavior or character
  • Poor cleanliness of self and work area.
  • More time is required to do common tasks
  • Increase in poor decisions
  • Failure to meet targets or show up for arrangements
  • unexpected displays of absentmindedness or puzzlement

As previously stated, there are no certain individuals that make fall victim to the disease of alcohol and drug abuse or addiction. By addressing these concerns to each individual upon hire, this will greatly reduce the risk of chronic instances within the company as a whole. If you or someone you know is struggling with their employees or workers when it comes to substance abuse or addiction, call us now: (800) 518-5205.


Sober Support: A Must In Early Recovery

Sober Support: A Must!

People. Places. Things.

Three things we are constantly hearing in the rooms. In early recovery all three of these concepts change. Typically one of these aspects lead to the reasons behind how your life was unmanageable and in the downward spiral of addiction. Now that you are embracing your new life in recovery, some of these old habits and surroundings need to change. Recovery is all about personal growth. This can only happen with the help of a good support system and overcoming the need for alcohol and drugs.

Relapse, it is the main reason to have a dependable sober support system, those you surround yourself with in early recovery can help you deal with feelings that can lead to relapse.

Your sober support, they are the ones who know how you’re feeling because they’ve been in your shoes. We call the first 90 days of early recovery the especially fragile time, so during these early and trying times, your- surroundings are extremely important.

Pre-recovery, you were living life a little differently. The people you surrounded yourself with in active addiction and the places you frequented probably were not the best atmospheres. When you made that decision to live a life clean and sober, you made a commitment to your recovery. When you made that decision, you knew the sacrifice that must be made when it comes to changing your lifestyle. This change will also include cutting people, places, and things out of your life that no longer correlate with your goals of staying clean and sober.
The only way to succeed in the early journey of staying clean and sober and to avoid relapse, is surrounding yourself with new healthy friends who are also in recovery.

With most treatment programs, an aftercare program is typically initiated by the client’s case manager. An aftercare program encourages multiple forms of sober support and typically includes sober living options, 12-step meeting locations, and follow up calls from an alumni department to check in from time to time. Stepping Sober Recovery Center’s home base facility in the beautiful Palm Beach Gardens, Florida is in the heart of recovery central. The recovery community of South Florida is second to none. We encourage clients to stay in this environment in early recovery because of all the benefits that stem from a strong sober support team. During clients’ step-down levels of care, they are integrated into this local community by attending local 12-step based meetings.

In cases where a client decides to return to their hometown and it is not as recovery friendly, our on-staff case manager will look into the local recovery support in that area and relay this information to the client.

In early recovery it is up to the individual to stay true to their process and take the steps to ensure sustained sobriety. By surrounding yourself with sober support you are encouraging checks and balances on your life in recovery. Those familiar with the steps have no problem with calling someone out if they are not making the right decisions to ensure their abstinence from drugs and alcohol, being accountable to someone makes relapse less likely.

There will be hills and valleys to overcome throughout your journey in recovery. The most successful way to overcome challenges and avoid relapse is to have a strong sober support team surrounding you at every turn.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or relapse, call Stepping Sober Recovery Center today: (800) 518-5205.

Being Respectful of Others During Trying Times

After the recent tragedies that have swept the nation, many of us have felt sorrow, anxiety and stress. It’s important to know that when you leave detox and while working toward your sobriety, that you’re leaning toward a better life, not using heroin, all around. Not only are you striving for peace in your life, so are others around you. In an effort to help with everyone’s progress this week’s heroin rehab blog is meant to create hope for everyone to live in a kind and loving world that we all deserve.

Teaching children respect should be a given practice. That being said, creates a question as to how people teach others how to respect those around them, even other heroin addicts. Here are some tips to remember during these tough times that should help after you complete detox.

Being polite is easy. However, it goes past kind words such as please, thank you, excuse me etc., there’s a difference between having manners and being polite especially for heroin addicts. But, they both go together. Please and Thank you are cordial words that show character and manners. You can also show politeness toward your peers in heroin rehab and others by listening.

You can listen actively to another patient in detox from heroin,  by giving them your undivided attention. Perhaps the person is having a difficult day. We all go through those. Give them the courtesy to be heard. We listen with mouths closed and ears open. This is why we have two ears and one mouth. It takes twice as much effort to listen to someone, let them be heard than it does speaking. Maybe you were raised in a family environment where everyone was addicted to heroin, and spoke over one another? Let your new sober friends that you met in the detox center become a different type of family, who allows you to be heard. But, you have to give in order to get. Practice listening skills while in rehab, they’re invaluable.

Don’t assume that everyone detoxing from heroin, knows what’s on your mind. Assumptions can and will get us in trouble every time. Never assume that your therapist in rehab knows what you’re feeling or going through. Directly ask people for the help you need. Ask people questions about heroin rehab procedures, wait for the answer, but never assume. Assumptions can create judgements and no one wants to feel they are being judged.
Teach your fellow heroin addicts in detox with you, respect if you’re a parent. We’re all in this together. As a parent, you’re creating the foundation for your kids to go out in the world and become productive members of society. That being said, take your time and really focus on your recovery from heroin addiction, and this aspect of your child’s life.


sunrise at heroin detox

Don’t miss the world with your head buried in your electronics. If you’re too busy looking at your phone, you’re missing the rest of what is going on around you. The other portion of this statement is the in polite disposition that you neglect to have when you’re ignoring people. Please remember that texting and focusing on your phone doesn’t allow you to connect with those around you , that is why they take your cell phone away while you are in the detox program. An important communication is vital and at times you may need to use your cell. However, don’t miss the chance at connecting with a good human being to pass you by because you suffer from mobile-head.

These are a few solid pieces of advice that can be carried out long after your journey after heroin rehab program has begun. We all want to live in a world with peace and these small but easy attributes will make your life become a better place. Even when others aren’t polite, you can create an environment while at the detoxification center, that allows for them to change their life.
Take the time to focus on the positive. Being positive and free from your heroin addiction,is another strong character that helps others around you show respect. It’s hard to be cruel to someone who is detoxing from heroin, and always smiling and positive. Be that beacon of light they reach out to. You just might become the shining star that other heroin addicts looks up to.
For more information on sober living, please contact our offices.


Recovery: Poetry & Writing for a Happier You

Poetry & Writing for a Happier You During Recovery

Everyone loves a story about recovering or fighting demons and coming out out top.  It’s the classic story.  Here are some tips you can use to get you through the addiction recovery process.

It may be a difficult day that you’re going through.  You may see those for a while, when you’re climbing the hill to recovery.  While there are a lot of different tools out there that can be used such as yoga, meditation, and eating healthier foods, writing is yet another tool that will allow you an outlet that’s not only creative it’s also therapeutic.  Here’s some tips for using writing as a tool for your success.

Write down your thoughts giving it a new twist.  You’re in complete control over what you write and how your brain will take you down specific trails that lead to pen and paper.  Keep an open mind, don’t be afraid of it, just let it flow.  If it’s gibberish or a new made up language, you get to create whatever it is.  The more you write, the more enjoyable it becomes. 

Write a letter to your mother, father, co-worker who ever may have made you feel angry, hurt you or helped you write a letter to them.  Make it fifteen pages long if necessary, write a letter a day so that person or persons can understand what you went through during treatment.  This can be a real eye opener when you read to your counselor or therapist.

Write a screenplay starring you and you.  One exercise used in therapy modalities or treatments is writing a screenplay about you are starring you and you.

It might be better to give you an example:

You:  I never trusted you, I thought you would fail, but look at you now.

Me: I never thought I could do it either, but I’m glad I did.

It sounds odd, but you’ll find it to be very effective. 

Write a short story about whatever you want.  If you’ve got a pressing issue write it down, include it in a character’s storyline, give it a beginning, a middle and an end.  Present the story to your counselor or health practitioner during your sessions to break up the monotony of treatment.  Read it to the group if you feel it’s helpful.  You can be whimsical, delightful or gloomy, it’s your story, your creation and it’s coming from the creator, YOU!

Don’t worry about being perfect.  Writing doesn’t have to be perfection.  Just spew out anything that comes to mind and get it down.  You can always go back and change it later on.  For now, you just want to get the word out, whether it’s on paper, the screen or verb into a recorder.

Using Your Device: Many cell phones include some type of recording app where you can voice record your thoughts and then type them out later on.  Using this as a tool can be really innovative because you’ll find that some of your most brilliant thoughts come when you’re least expecting it.  In the middle of the night, while driving a car or riding the bus, by keeping this app open, you’ve got fast access to your most profound thoughts that help to make a solid story. We naturally as human beings lose our thoughts quickly.  Short term memory loss, is common even in clean individuals so it makes sense to record your thoughts the moment they come. By waiting your treasures will be lost and that can be forever, so write it down. 

Usable Apps: Writing apps like Grammarly, Ginger, HemingwayApp can all give you extra tools that can make you a better writer.  Games like Verb Smash and English Idioms are excellent resources and most are free.  They can be downloaded to cell phones, computers or tablets. 

If you’re limited to resources, then stick to pen and paper.  It’s a big deal to get a blank notebook, and new pens, then writing until you’ve filled the book.  You can later look back and feel a sense of accomplishment, because it is.

Get it published to help others.  Getting your work published isn’t difficult.  Start a blog, or write your story and reach out to a publisher that specializes in assisting those facing issues with addiction.  Why? Because these publishers may have hidden resources to help with any costs that incur from the publishing process. One way to find these folks is to look up books, written on the topic.  The publishers given credit in the book, are a good place to start.

Using places like Facebook for your writing can be detrimental.  Refrain from using this site for posting intimate and personal pieces of work.  You never know who’s looking.  Potential employers, police, your ex is all people that can hack into your Facebook or other social media page.  Don’t post anything that can bite you later on.

Studying is one of the best things you can do while recovering.  If writing is something you’d like to do as a career, then go online, register for classes do whatever it takes to learn.  By learning things like language, grammar, spelling and punctuation can improve your chances of employment.  It’s never too late to learn how being a wordsmith and it can be one of the most successful careers if pursued.

By using these tools, you may find a new interest or wake up an old one. There’s very little money needed to write as a craft or hobby.  It allows you to be creative and gives you an alternate form of therapy that can reach deep within being super effective leading you to a brighter future.

If you or someone you know is suffering through issues such as depression or any other unstable environments, please contact your counselors.

Stepping Sober in Palm Beach County Florida is an Alcohol, Heroin, Cocaine and substance abuse recovery center.

My Halfway House Experience Part 1

My first chance to live in a halfway house was in 1998. I had completed 30 days of residential drug program and was ready to move on. I got a job in a grocery store produce department. It was cool for a early recovery job and better than my peers living with me in the halfway house. A sober living environment helps me stay clean in early recovery. Everyone attends AA meetings together then hang out afterward. I was married and my wife was living an hour north in palm beach gardens so we got together on weekends. For some of my mates too much freedom was a bad idea. There are many different types of halfway houses. Some have phases like the first month you have no freedom at all and no cell phone allowed . You do not get a job until the second phase or the third phase. There is a van to take you to NA meetings and then straight back home. Relationships are a no no for the first year of recovery, but nobody ever follows that rule. A few times residents got caught with girls in the halfway house and were kicked out. You have to learn to coexist with different people and personalities while in a sober living residence. Usually there is a staff member or house manager to keep everyone in line with following the rules. Hopefully you know how to wash your clothes which is a skill many addicts have to learn in recovery.