The following key questions are answered in this module:
Are there risk factors for addiction?
People of all ages and backgrounds can become addicted to a substance, but some specific factors include: genetic predisposition (or having family history of addiction), being male, receiving pressure from peers or co-workers, lacking a strong relationship with family, being anxious or depressed, using highly addictive substances.
Can work factor into abusing substances?
Yes, work factors can also increase the risk of an employee abusing a substance. These factors include: low job satisfaction, long/irregular hours or shifts, periods of inactivity or boredom, remote or irregular supervision, and isolation.
How are substances and drugs typically categorized?
They are categorized by depressants (cannabis, alcohol, heroin, morphine, codeine, and inhalants), stimulants (meth, nicotine, caffeine, cocaine, speed, and ecstasy), and hallucinogens (LSD, mushrooms, and PCP).
What are the two most common types of substance abuse?
Alcohol and tobacco abuse are the two most common types of substance abuse.
What are some other substances that are commonly abused?
In addition to the alcohol and tobacco being the most commonly abused drugs, antidepressants (Prozac and Zoloft), barbiturates (Valium and Phenobarbital), cannabis (marijuana), inhalants (glue, nitrous oxide, and gasoline), and opiates (cocaine, morphine, and heroin) are also commonly abused.
How do you tell if someone is abusing a substance?
The most common signs of substance abuse are inability to concentrate, dilated pupils, slurred speech, uneven walking, bloodshot or glassy eyes, tremors, smell of cannabis, alcohol, or tobacco, extreme mood swings, and possibly signs of paranoia or delusional thinking.
What can a workplace do to help someone who shows signs of substance abuse?
Help can be accomplished through two different methods: Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and with a substance abuse policy.
What can you do to help a coworker overcome addiction?
If you feel a coworker is struggling with substance abuse, you should: not ignore the issue, consider carefully and respectfully talking to them, provide resources of local services and offer to accompany them if needed, and refer them to your company's EAP (if one is in place).
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
Being addicted means that an individual is involved in compulsive drug seeking and use, regardless of any negative health or social consequences. Because drugs, whether prescription, legal, or illegal, alter the structure and function of the brain, quitting is difficult, and relapses are common, despite treatment. While there are many factors influencing how vulnerable a person is to addiction, the brain chemistry involved in the process is consistent. Addictive drugs produce a high or feeling of happiness and contentment because they increase the brain's level of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that creates feelings of pleasure. Over time, the brain copes with the excess dopamine by building up a tolerance. In turn, a user must increase the amount of drug used to achieve the same feeling as before. Generating a tolerance alters brain cells and how they function, sometimes permanently.