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BuddyRooShmancyNShy

Drug Abuse Amongst "friends" In The Workplace.

11 posts in this topic

There's a guy I work with who I believe has been abusing prescription pain meds for years.

About 4 years ago, he was on lots of pain meds then had a few beers at an after work get together. I tried to take his keys. several others did too. He left. Got on his MOTORCYCLE and promptly laid it down in an intersection about a mile away.

He called and another coworker and I went to get him. He had just said "I laid my bike down, can you get me?"

When we arrived, we should've just called 911. We didn't realize how badly he was injured and we were only 2 blocks from the hospital so we took him there.

He had a fractured pelvis and had just destroyed his arm. Everyone else who had been "witness" to the events of the day completely bailed. I spent at least 2 hours being interrogated by the police. I was there holding his hand when they had to set his arm sans medication because his blood levels of drugs were too high. I was there demanding they catheterize. His wife was out of town and he was being treated like a second class citizen. It was scary.

Well, I don't interact with the guy very directly much. But I've been assigned to take over some of his duties in the last 6 mos and I'm finding that he simply did not do his job.

Further, last week, I had to work directly with him on a project. More than a few times, I would tell him "Hey, you need to do X." He'd reply "Okay, will do. " and then "Okay done" and I'd get back in to test and find he'd done nothing.

He showed up several times in my office to ask questions about things we've discussed many times or hardly able to put together a sentence. It was as if he was in a total fog.

I went to the HR guy because he is friends with this dude. And I told him I was worried.

I told the guy's boss that I was worried.

I told MY boss that I was worried.

Everyone else who has to work with him have said they've noticed this for months. I just rarely work with him. So it's not just ME, but I happen to be the "oh I WILL say something" person.

I overheard him telling someone this week that he believes the meds he was on post surgery last time have "permanently damaged his brain" and that he feels like he's "slow".

But I don't think that's the case. I think he's taking about 14 pain pills per day and THAT is what is making him slow.

Here's my dilemma: I am afraid he's going to kill someone on the road.

What would you do?

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He's an adult and you can't be responsible for everyone. I don't see much you can do. You've already done all you can do at work, talked to all the right people and evidently, he has friends there who are assuring him a job no matter how polluted he is.

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There really isn't a lot to be done in a situation like this. If you're close enough to know the prescribing doctor(s) a simple phone call to express concern in behavioral changes can be made.

Outside of that I am not sure what else you can do.

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In all seriousness....should I talk to the guy himself?

I mean, I didn't want to because we are not "close". I basically talked to his closest friends.

I am afraid he's going to get his kids in the car and kill them all. He seems to be out of control. I don't want to be on the road with this guy.

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I don't know. Do you believe he's over medicated or intentionally abusing? If he's dealing with addiction I am not sure a conversation is going to change anything. Except perhaps giving you a clear conscience.

If his work performance is being altered and HR knows about it? They should be the ones stepping in.

Unfortunately scenarios like this are always ones where nothing can be done until something has happened. At which point everyone points fingers because it was apparent there was a problem and nobody did anything.

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I wouldn't talk to him. You would, IMHO, be overstepping your bounds. Yeah, he may be a danger to himself and others but it just isn't your place to say anything. You have to work with him and I'd keep the relationship professional. He's only going to think you're a jerk if you start delving into talking to him about his personal drug use. You aren't in charge of his paycheck so, it's not your "job" to question him.

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Well, since he's also opened the door by "explaining" that he believes his performance issues are the result of the prior medication resulting in cognitive function, I'd go ahead and have the discussion with him.

Here's my tack:

Me: I guess you're concerned that the meds for your injuries affected your brain function?

He: States something to that effect.

Me: Maybe you should ask your doctor for a referral to a neurologist to make sure that nothing is so affected that you could be endangering your kids, wife or yourself. I mean if you're noticing that you're having some problems here, it could be affecting other parts of your life, too.

Then just leave it for a while, a week or so, perhaps and ask, conversationally, whether he's had that chance to see his doctor.

After that, unfortunately, it's up to him. You've done what you can by illustrating to him that others have noticed his poor function. He has to decide that he has a problem and take steps to deal with it properly.

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In all seriousness....should I talk to the guy himself?

Like what, a one-person intervention when you aren't Best-Buddies, just co-workers?

If he's dealing with addiction I am not sure a conversation is going to change anything. Except perhaps giving you a clear conscience.

Yeah, he may be a danger to himself and others but it just isn't your place to say anything.

You have to work with him and I'd keep the relationship professional.

You aren't in charge of his paycheck so, it's not your "job" to question him.

I'm a bit torn on this blunt response; OTOH, you do have to work with him and remain professional ... but OTOH, if he *is* a danger inside/outside the workplace, I think it is *everyone's* responsibility to speak up when the 'danger-hairs' are standing upright.

I must say I rather like MM's method of approach, only because I think it is a rational one that *he/himself* opened the door to by publicly mentioning the med/mind-fog issue.

Edited by Heidi n Q

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B'Roo, these situations are so hard!!

First, I suggest following up your discussion at work with memos (in writing) CYA is my middle name. [bat Eyelashes]

Then, I suggest you contact your local police agency (and not tell anyone you have done this - no use advertising you're being the "bad guy"!) and ask them for advice. They can put a patrol out to watch for him. When he is pulled over, they can arrest him for DUI or send him to the DMV for a Driver Re-Evaluation.

I'm sorry you've been put in this position [Huggy]

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what about his wife...?

shouldn't she be the one to be notified, shouldn't she be the one to her to express her concerns as well, she must be aware of it,due to his behavior changes, she is the one who is in charge to sign the papers etc.. by the sounds of he will be recovering for long time..

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what about his wife...?

shouldn't she be the one to be notified, shouldn't she be the one to her to express her concerns as well, she must be aware of it,due to his behavior changes, she is the one who is in charge to sign the papers etc.. by the sounds of he will be recovering for long time..

Some husbands don't want to hear it. Nor could they imagine they were possibly doing anything wrong. First sign of addiction is usually apathy :indifferent: She might be a victim too. [Angel]

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