Addiction at the workplace – Seminar for employees

Target group: interested employees

Studies indicate that around five percent of all employees in Germany suffer from addiction. Another ten percent are considered at risk of developing one. Therefore, it is more than likely that we will encounter an addicted or addiction-endangered colleague during our workday. The common reactions include looking away or exhibiting co-dependent behaviour, for example, when well-meaning peers “cover” for the afflicted colleague in hopes of protecting them from possible work-related legal consequences. This only prolongs the course of the illness.

The goal of the seminar is to provide employees with information on the initial signs of an addiction, raise awareness and suggest ways to react appropriately and helpfully to such a situation. Intervention may prevent a long battle with addiction and persuade the person to accept help. The work agreement on addiction (WA Addiction) is a suitable and constructive instrument in this regard and embraces the principle of helping instead of firing employees struggling with addiction.

The seminar mainly addresses problems of addiction in everyday working life. The advice and information can also be helpful for dealing with addiction-related issues in one’s personal life.

Course content:

  • Data and facts about dependency disorders
  • Models of causes
  • Forms of manifestation, distinguishing features and symptoms (substance- and non-substance-based dependencies)
  • “When colleagues become different.” Collegial support, possibilities and boundaries
  • The (revised) Münster University work agreement on addiction
  • Internal and external assistance, consultation and treatment possibilities
  • Work-related legal aspects

Methods: introductory presentations, working groups
moderated exchange of information: participants may discuss current or past “cases” (anonymised and under strict confidentiality).

Trainer: Heinz-Willi Lahme, certified social worker, addiction therapist (DAS) with extensive clinical experience, mediator and psychotherapist (HPG)