Addiction at the workplace – Guidance and instruments for supervisory staff

Target group: supervisory staff

When employees start having problems with addiction, it often presents supervisors with a special challenge. Those who suffer from addiction or exhibit addictive symptoms generally try to hide their behaviour as much as possible and deny that they even have a problem. Without the addictive substance, managing life seems all but impossible. All the obstacles that result from their addiction hold potential for conflict. For supervisors, a caring attitude, but also a clearly defined and consistent policy, can be helpful.

The goal of the seminar is to provide supervisors with information on the initial signs of an addiction, raise awareness and motivate them to intervene as early as possible. Such a response can prevent a prolonged illness and can encourage the person to accept help. The work agreement on addiction (WA Addiction) is a suitable and constructive instrument in this regard and provides guidance on courses of action in dealing with this challenging supervisory task.

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.” Possibilities of (early) intervention and boundaries
  • The (revised) Münster University work agreement on addiction and the supervisor’s role
  • Internal and external assistance, consultation and treatment possibilities
  • Work-related legal aspects

Methods: introductory presentations, working groups, discussions in smaller groups with exercises
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)

This seminar is held in German only.