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Drug and Alcohol Abuse Spike During the Holidays

For most of us, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. Unfortunately, it can also be a dangerous time of the year for some. During the Christmas and new year period, drunk driving accidents increase. It is also a time when stress and anxiety can increase the rate of depression as well as drug abuse. It is often during this time of year that addicts may ignore their drug or alcohol abuse in order to participate in the holiday work rush, company parties, and other work-related events. This can have a big impact on the safety and security of your workplace, especially if safety-sensitive employees turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the fast-paced nature of the holiday season.
There are a number of reasons why substance abuse among workers can increase during the holiday season:

  1. Stress. Worrying about gifts, all the invitations that have been extended, money, family get-togethers, and so much more add to the stress of the season. Unfortunately, it is under duress that using drugs or alcohol as a way to handle it all can seem like a logical idea.
  2. Isolation. Whether it’s isolating themselves from family or friends, many feel that their social circle will not accept them if they have a problem with drugs or alcohol. In other cases, they feel they won’t be accepted it they don’t indulge in alcohol or drugs. As a result, individuals may increase their intake of substances to cope.
  3. Holiday Grieving. For some, the holidays can be a painful reminder of good or bad memories. They may grieve past behaviors or their past life, while others may not have friends or family to spend the holidays with. These feelings of sadness and loneliness could lead to depression and increase the risk of substance abuse.
  4. Lack of Support. Temptation during the holidays is all too common. From alcohol to the encouragement to “just have one,” social pressure, or isolation can lead to substance abuse and relapse.

For these reasons, the beginning of the year is the perfect time to institute a random drug testing policy at your workplace. Although many business owners and HR managers may feel as though it’s best to let people indulge during the holidays as long as they get back to work in January, substance abuse rarely ends on January 1. Employees cannot get the support they need from their employers to battle their addictions if their employers don’t know about the problem. Random testing is often the first step toward recovery.

Instituting a legally sound random drug testing policy is a very difficult undertaking for most businesses to tackle on their own. KRESS is here to help. We help employers large and small across the Houston area implement smart, tailored random drug testing policies that keep their business safe from unnecessary danger and liabilities. We always recommend that random drug testing policies include employee assistance programs (EAPs). These programs ensure that employees are not simply cut loose after violating your company’s drug and alcohol policy and can get the help they need to return to work productively. EAPs help thousands of workers beat their substance abuse issues every year.

If you’d like to know more about how KRESS can help your business combat drug abuse after the holidays or throughout the year, contact us today. We have the expertise your business needs to create and implement a policy that works for everyone.

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