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For the week of August 20 - 24
Drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing, and treatable disease. Addiction begins with a conscious choice to use drugs, but addiction is not just "a lot of drug use." Recent scientific research provides overwhelming evidence that not only do drugs interfere with normal brain functioning creating powerful feelings of pleasure, but they also have long-term effects on brain metabolism and activity. At some point, changes occur in the brain that can turn drug abuse into addiction. Those addicted to drugs suffer from a compulsive drug craving and usage and cannot quit by themselves.
The following are some of the behavioral characteristics that may occur with drug addiction. Note that these behavioral characteristics do not always indicate drug addiction, but may warrant further investigation.
- Absenteeism – absences without notification and an excessive use of sick days
- Frequent disappearances from the work site, long unexplained absences, improbable excuses
- Unreliability in keeping appointments and meeting deadlines
- Work performance that alternates between periods of high and low productivity
- Mistakes made due to inattention, poor judgment, and bad decisions
- Confusion, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating or recalling details and instructions
- Ordinary tasks require greater effort and consume more time
- Interpersonal relations with coworkers suffer
- Progressive deterioration in personal appearance and hygiene
- Personality change - mood swings, anxiety, depression, lack of impulse control, suicidal thoughts or gestures
- Increasing personal and professional isolation
Situation and Solution: An employee overcoming an addiction was missing a lot of work because of withdrawal symptoms. His employer allowed him the time off without penalty, and allotted extra time off to allow the employee time to receive medical treatment. When he returned to work, he was still experiencing a loss of concentration and memory. His employer accommodated him with a reminder clock and written instructions.
Call Oklahoma ABLE Tech (800-257-1705) for accommodation ideas or to borrow assistive technology. ABLE Tech’s AT Device Demonstration and Short-Term Loan Program works just like a book library. Here are some devices that relate to this article:
Need funding to assist in the purchase of assistive devices? Oklahoma ABLE Tech offers a comprehensive online guide for Oklahoma Funding for AT. Additionally, ABLE Tech, in partnership with Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT) and BancFirst of Stillwater, offers Financial Loans to purchase assistive technology. Several programs of funding are available, all with LOW interest rate and flexible repayment terms, as well as special qualification opportunities for applicants who might not qualify for a traditional bank loan. For questions on the Financial Loan opportunities, call Shelley Gladden for more information at 800-257-1705.
Rob Carr, Accessibility Coordinator
Linda Jaco, Associate Director for Sponsored Programs