Signs of Opiate Addiction

Opiate addiction is an unfortunate reality for many Americans. The global epidemic impacts 26.4 to 36 million people worldwide and 2.1 million in the US alone, per data from 2012.

Results of opiate addiction negatively affect not just the addict’s health, but also their social and economic wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of those around them. Overdose rates and heroin abuse rates have increased due to the prevalence of opioid use.

If you are concerned a friend, employee, or family member is fighting an opiate addiction, you should know the signs of the condition.

Signs Your Employee May Have an Opiate Addiction

Sleeping on the Job

Opiate addicts may be more drowsy and lethargic than usual, since decreased energy is one affect of taking opioids. It may range from less noticeable lethargy, like if an employee appears unmotivated, or it can be as obvious as an employee literally sleeping at their desk or nodding off during a meeting.


Addicts have one main goal: getting their next fix. As a result, they may be very unreliable workers, running late for meetings, flaking out on important job-related tasks, missing deadlines, and dropping the ball professionally. They may frequently be late to work, take extended breaks, or take excessive sick days. Managers should be aware of an employee’s vacation time, sick days, and tardiness in order to gauge if they may be battling some sort of addiction.

Lack of Productivity

Since opiate addiction causes people to have a one-track mind focused on obtaining more of the drug, lack of productivity is another sign of addiction. Opiates can also impair an individual so they aren’t able to perform as well in their job function as usual because they slow down or make sloppy mistakes. They can also prove distracting in the workplace and lead to your other workers being overwhelmed and overburdened as they have to make up for the addicts’ sloppy work.

Sluggish & Uncoordinated

Opiate addiction leaves individuals sluggish when they are under the influence of the drug. They may actually appear to be moving in slow motion. Despite moving so slow, addicts are often clumsy, tripping, falling, knocking over objects, and more.

Stop Opiate Addiction from Jeopardizing Your Workplace

Opiate addiction can have a detrimental effect on your workplace. Don’t let it. Eliminate the liability that comes with hiring an opiate addict by partnering with Test Smartly Labs for pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, and post-accident drug testing. With our guidance, you can create a legally-compliant drug program for your workplace.

To get started today, call your local Test Smartly Labs.

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