METH: How is it Impacting Your Workplace?

Although it can be and has been used by anyone, the use of methamphetamine (or meth), when it’s found in the workplace, has primarily been associated with white, blue-collar workers.  Users may partake of this drug in the mistaken belief it makes them more productive, increases their concentration, and gives them energy to work extra shifts or longer hours. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) has suggested that employees such as truck drivers, construction, factory, mining and white-collar workers may be particularly susceptible to this myth that using meth is beneficial.

Most workers who use this drug at work take meth orally.  They mix it with a drunk or snort it to get a burst of energy. This way they can take it at work without getting caught or noticed.

It is not the role of an employer or supervisor to diagnose substance abuse, but it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of methamphetamine use:

  • Decrease in or lack of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hand tremors
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive talking
  • Delusions of grandeur
  • Hallucinations

One should be particularly concerned if an employee is coming down from a meth high (known as tweaking).  Users can feel anxious, extremely irritable and paranoid.  This can result in unpredictable and dangerous behavior, especially if the user is confronted.

The use of meth in the workplace is an expensive problem for employers.  University of Arkansas’ Center for Business and Economic Research recently stated that meth-addicted employees can cost businesses approximately $47,000 a year.

One indication of a substance problem is when an applicant has a history of many short-lived jobs. When you are screening candidates, pay close attention to their job history.

This is where USAMDT of the Treasure Coast can help.  Our experts in background screening and pre-employment drug testing can help you avoid costly hiring mistakes.  Call us today at 800-757-9307 or contact us at TreasureCoast@USAMT.com.  Our certified professionals are standing by!