Are the Effects of Drug Abuse Impacting Your Career?

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

The effects of drug abuse are like a ripple. They spread out wider and wider, touching areas of your life you might not have expected. One of the effects of drug abuse is frequently a damaged professional life. Because drugs influence your mental, physical, and emotional health, it makes sense that they can have a negative affect on your career as well. Once you recognize the ways drugs are disturbing your professional path, you can find help and move forward.

The Effects of Drug Abuse on Your Career

Drug tests

Most workplaces have a drug policy in place. Some of these policies include random or scheduled drug tests. If you fail one of these tests, you stand to lose your job.


The effects of drug abuse can leave you tired and unable to function normally. You may find yourself arriving late or even missing entire days of work. While this may be overlooked if it happens on a rare occasion, the more it happens, the more your boss is likely to notice. A lack of punctuality indicates that you aren’t entirely dependable, and that could hurt your job.

Missing deadlines or dropping responsibilities

Juggling a drug addiction and a career often results in a reduced quality of work. You might start missing small deadlines, either because you’ve forgotten or figured no one would notice. Those might turn into large deadlines, which could jeopardize your position. In addition, you might start coming up short in meeting your designated responsibilities.

Professional relationships

The effects of drug abuse frequently extend to personal and professional relationships. Your colleagues may notice that something’s not quite right with you. You may even find yourself more irritable and impatient, which can spill over into your relationships with others.

Finding Help and Moving Forward

Acknowledging the problem

Treatment is proven to be a successful way of addressing a drug addiction. Entering treatment probably means confronting some difficult truths, one of which is talking to your employer about your circumstances. It may surprise you to know that many employers are actually very supportive towards employees who are seeking help for addiction. Don’t let concern for your reputation prevent you from prioritizing your health by entering treatment; it’s likely that your reputation will take a fall in the long run if you don’t get help.


The effects of drug abuse may linger into your recovery. There may be physical and emotional issues to work through, but with continued therapy and support, you can improve your career prospects post-treatment. If you’re returning to the same job, be open about your experiences. This doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to talk about them, but you don’t have to cover them up, either. Denial is a fast way to relapse.

Drug abuse is a complex problem with far-reaching consequences. By facing it head-on and putting your health first, you can turn addiction into recovery. If you notice yourself struggling at work due to the effects of drug abuse, seek treatment as soon as possible. It could save your career, but, more importantly, it could change your life for the better.