Though awareness has risen substantially within the past ten years, substance abuse in the white collar business world is often overlooked and underestimated.  Drug and alcohol abuse is typically associated with the “lower” class and “paupers” of society.  

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The stressors of the culture surrounding a white collar lifestyle are often incredibly overwhelming for some individuals, and the “American Dream” can sometimes set a standard that is utterly unrealistic and unlikely.  Today’s picket fences have been overshadowed by a growing drug culture, and it is taking over our country’s businessmen and women.  

There are a few things that individuals and companies as a whole can do to avoid producing a team of tired, stressed, addicts.  Take a look at these four helpful suggestions for minimizing substance abuse issues in the workplace.  

Teach stress management.

It may seem a bit trivial, but full grown adults do, in fact, still need consistent reminders of how to manage their stress levels correctly.  Working in the white collar professional environment can require long hours and very little sleep.  These two variables are a recipe for disaster.  

Offer stress management courses for all employees.  It may even be a good idea to require attendance.  Adults are not too old to be reminded of the simpler things in life.  We all need time away from expectation.  

Keep communication opened.

Keep an opened line of communication with colleagues.  Building solid friendships in the workplace can provide vital support for individuals when the stress of the workplace becomes too much to bear.  Unfortunately, the “white collar” world tends to be a bit harsh on those that show perceived weakness and peers often support an unspoken culture of drug abuse.  This is why it is important to create an opened and welcoming work environment for everyone.  

Set reachable goals.

Try to avoid making the mistake of overestimating on workload capacity.  Setting goals that are out of reach may seem like a “reach for the skies” motivation tactic, but it is more likely to inflict a negative self-image.  Self-doubt is a terrible beast, and the permissive attitude towards alcohol and drugs in the white collar community is a recipe for disaster.  

Know the signs of addiction.

Know the signs of substance abuse and be held accountable.  Even if it is only a personal accountability, addiction education can be the difference between a small manageable issue and a lifelong struggle.  Dependency is just as awful as it sounds.  Quickly, and without a glance, habits can form addictions and addictions ruin lives.  Take the time to properly arm the whole surrounding community of white collar workers with the knowledge needed to avoid falling into a pattern of alcohol or drug addiction.  

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