Executive Intervention for Substance Abuse

Interventions for Key Employees

It is sometimes said that “it is lonely at the top”. Women and men who find themselves in high-level positions within companies face many unique pressures and expectations. One in ten people suffers from addiction. Key employees are no different. Those same strong and independent personalities that contribute to success make it hard to ask for help. An executive intervention can help.

Interventions for Employees Including Executives and Other Key Organization Members

Employee drug use in the workplace is a costly problem. The time, money, and energy invested in an employee is at risk when that person has an untreated substance or alcohol use disorder. The cost to hire and train a new employee is up to half of their annual salary. Employees with an active addiction take nearly twice the time off from work. On the other hand, employees in recovery take the fewest days off from work. Adding in extra healthcare and insurance costs the financial loss of continued substance use grows rapidly. [1]

The Sooner the Better is the Mantra for Treatment

The earlier an executive gets treatment for their substance use disorder the better. It is well known within the medical community that early intervention in alcohol or drug addiction greatly increases success. From the perspective of the affected individual, they have less chance of getting into serious legal trouble, including car and machinery accidents, sexual harassment, liability for financial loss, or personal injuries caused by their substance abuse.

Treatment aims to return a healthy productive employee to the workforce. Addiction treatment protects the company investment in that person and is also the right thing to do. Addiction is a disease of the brain. Early intervention and assistance saves time, money, reputation, and creates an incredibly loyal employee. The person who is using is suffering. Just like any other medical condition, addiction needs to be treated.

Treatment Resistance In Executives

There are reasons why a high-level employee may resist treatment. They may be fearful of their reputation, they may have a lot of responsibility which they cannot leave behind. A person who suffers may not see how much it affects those around them. They may not want to ask for help. They may feel too many people depend on them. An intervention is needed to show the person that they need help and that there are people who support them in this need.

The Executive Intervention Process Works

At The Ridge, we have experience with all types of intervention techniques. When it comes to executive and employee intervention there is a specific process that we use to have the best chance of success.

  1. We meet with individuals within your organization to define the scope of the problem.
  2. We educate about the disease of addiction and designate tasks with key employees who will be involved.
  3. With your company, we pre-determine a variety of treatment options to present to the addicted individual.
  4. A meeting is scheduled with the person who is suffering. This is usually facilitated by their direct supervisor, board members, involved spouse, friend, or family member.
  5. This meeting is the executive intervention, during which we cover topics such as:
    1. The risks the company faces if the substance use continues.
    2. The impact of their behavior on the organization.
    3. Their job performance.
    4. The treatment options and the next steps

During the intervention, many scenarios can play out. The best scenario is that the employee accepts what is being discussed, agrees to one of the treatment options that is presented and enrolls in treatment. However, the best-laid plans can fail. We can be met with resistance, denials, and even anger or defensiveness. Not to worry, we have planned for this before the intervention. We also have consequences for inaction ready.

Alcoholism, addiction, and substance abuse are all diseases of the brain and won’t go away on their own. One of the characteristics of the disease is that it gets worse over time. We see this play out again and again with untreated substance abuse. If the individual decides not to seek help the consequences for the company and the individual will grow. If an employee is battling addiction the time is now to get them the help they need. The Ridge can help, just give us a call.

Sources:

1.    https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/safety-topics/drugs-at-work/costs-for-employers

To learn more about our executive intervetion service, contact us today.

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