10 Signs Your Coworker Is On Drugs

10 Signs Your Coworker Is On Drugs

Working with others in an office can take some getting used to – especially if there are wide differences in personality or professionalism between yourself and your coworkers. And while you may need to learn to tolerate pencil tapping, loud talking or muttered profanity from the neighboring cubicle, there is a profound difference between normal personality traits and the dramatic changes that can be caused by drug use.

It is true that some people may use recreational drugs outside of work on a very limited basis, and therefore may exhibit little or no signs that they are using drugs.  However, frequent and continuing use of drugs can cause problems or difficulties at work, and knowing the signs can be a first step in assisting the person to get help.

While different drugs have different intended purposes, and therefore many different effects on an individual, there are some basic signs that all drugs cause an individual to exhibit. 

Signs of Drug Use With a Co-Worker

1. Sudden change in behavior

A person taking drugs may have sudden and inexplicable changes in their behavior.  Where once they paid attention to detail and took pride in the professionalism of their work, perhaps now they are frequently late to work and sloppy in completing their work.

2. Mood swings

If your coworker has sudden changes in their mood they may be taking drugs.  One moment they could be laughing as they tell you a funny story, and then the next moment they are crying about an upsetting experience they’ve had.

3. Withdrawal from family members or friends

When someone takes drugs regularly, they often withdraw from their family members or friends, and may even withdraw from friendly contact with others around them.

4. Carelessness about personal grooming

Someone who is taking drugs routinely becomes sloppy with their personal grooming and appearance.  It may be as subtle as wrinkled, mismatched, cheap clothes, or as obvious as unclean body or hair.  They often have breath or body odor that smells unpleasant.

5. Loss of interest in hobbies, sports or other favorite activities

A person taking drugs may suddenly lose interest in hobbies, sports or favorite activities.  During their lunch they may have previously enjoyed a few games of solitaire, a quick game of basketball or sitting outside with a good book, and now you find that they prefer to do nothing at all.

6. Changed sleeping pattern

Since drugs interrupt the normal functions of the human body, if your coworker is taking drugs they are likely having difficulty sleeping at night, and may complain of exhaustion or even take naps during the day.

7. Red or glassy eyes

One of the most common and obvious signs of drug use is red or glassy, unfocused eyes.

8. Sniffy or runny nose

Different from the occasional bout with colds or allergies, a coworker taking drugs will constantly sniff or have a runny nose.

9. Change in appetite

While taking drugs a person may experience a marked change in their appetite and their weight.  They may suddenly lose or gain a lot of weight, or eat different foods and quantities than they did previously.

10. Tremors, slurred speech or impaired coordination

If your coworker is taking drugs, you could find yourself noticing tremors, slurred speech or impaired coordination that you don’t recall observing previously.  They may have difficulty with simple tasks like taking a pencil that is handed to them or communicating full, intelligible sentences.

It is important to keep in mind that any coworker not on drugs could possibly exhibit the above signs at any given time.  An individual who is taking drugs regularly, however, will exhibit many of the above signs on a regular basis.