Drug abuse and addiction affects many more people than only the ones using drugs. Friends, family, co-workers and other bystanders are significantly impacted by the substance abuse of others. This web of dependency and codependency can cause great emotional pain, fear, and the fracturing of important relationships. Even the employer/employee relationship can be greatly affected by drug abuse.
If you are concerned about your boss’s drug use, you may benefit greatly from focused, strategic counseling and support. Learning how to navigate these treacherous waters can make a significant difference in your own long-term health.
Understanding Codependency and Setting Healthy Boundaries
Addiction counselors have recognized unique symptoms and patterns of behavior demonstrated by those who live in close proximity to drug addicts. The connection to people who are chemically dependent is called codependency and it presents the following harmful symptoms:
- Increased relational stress
- Increased opportunity for physical and emotional abuse
- Anxiety disorders
- Increased likelihood of substance abuse and addiction
In many cases employees and bosses spend more time together than parents and their children or even spouses do. If your boss is addicted to drugs you would benefit greatly from codependency counseling. You will develop understanding about addiction and codependency that is specifically relevant to your situation, especially dealing with the following issues:
- How to establish and enforce healthy relational boundaries
- How to identify faulty thinking and harmful reactions in yourself
- How to communicate your concerns in a healthy, productive way
- Protecting yourself from the toxic side-effects of addiction
Many employers offer codependency therapy as a part of their employee wellness packages. To understand your role in the workplace as it relates to substance abuse, you must first understand how that environment is already affecting you.
How to Communicate Clearly about Drug Addiction
Most employers have established policies for communicating concerns about substance abuse in the workplace. Often employees are unwilling to raise their concerns because they fear reprisals from their boss. Check with your company’s HR department about the policy for raising concern. There may likely be a way for you to tip someone off anonymously about your concerns.
If you are unable to find this information – or if you are a part of a very small firm that doesn’t have its own policies for these things – you may call our toll-free helpline any time for professional, confidential advice.