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APPENDIX A
Behaviors and Signs Attributed to Substance Abuse

Someone who is or is not under the influence of chemical substances may exhibit many of the behaviors described below. This list of behaviors should be used as clues for identification, together with other relevant information and observation, or behaviors commonly associated with being under the influence of chemical substances. It is important to consider patterns of behavior or changes in behavioral patterns as further indicators. One behavior or sign alone may be sufficient for reasonable cause depending on the severity. If uncertain, contact UHRS or EAP for assistance.

ATTENDANCE

Frequent Monday, Friday, pre/post-holiday, post payday tardiness and/or other patterned absences

Frequently has relative or friend call in any absences

Elaborate excuses for being late or absent

Abrupt changes in attendance

Failure to return from lunch break, ill after lunch

Frequently requests to go out to car and behavior change noted upon return

Frequently calls in at last minute requesting paid time off

Frequently absent from assigned work area

Frequently requests to leave work early

Showing up at work on scheduled days off due to failure to remember schedule

JOB PERFORMANCE

Withdrawal from responsibility

Difficulty meeting schedules and deadlines

Sleeping or dozing on the job

Does minimal work

Forgetfulness

Increasing pattern of becoming withdrawn and isolated: wants to change to work night shift, starts to  take lunches alone, avoids informal staff get-togethers

Irritable with colleagues, making major issues out of minor ones

Erratic work, incomplete assignments, below par job performance or unexplained disappearances from an assignment

  • For example, patterns of poor job performance on Monday, improvement on Tuesday, normal on Wednesday

Blames others for job performance problems

When confronted, claims being singled out

Poor attention to detail

Frequent visits by other employees or visitors

Excessive secretive telephone calls

Frequent trips to the restroom

Frequent violations of policies and procedures

ACCIDENTS

Frequent on the job accidents

PERSONALITY CHANGES

Pronounced mood swings

Increased sensitivity to arguments, overreacts

Distorts information

Chronic complaints

Blackouts (complete memory loss for events, conversations, phone calls to colleagues), minimizing of personal behavior problems to others

Sensitive to opinions expressed regarding drinking

Secretive behavior regarding actions and possessions

PHYSICAL CHANGES

Hand tremor, shakiness, slurred speech, unsteady gate, nervousness

Red, glassy and/or bleary eyes, flushed face

Odor of alcohol on breath

Over-tiredness, complaints of “I feel rotten”

Excessive use of breath purifiers

Unkempt appearance, personal appearance deteriorates

Wears long sleeves all the time

Wears sunglasses at inappropriate times

Dilated pupils under bright light conditions

Pinpointed pupils under low light conditions

Excessive perspiration

Hyperactivity

Problems with coordination

Chronic nasal problems

Excessive weight loss

EVIDENCE OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA/ POSSESSION OF ILLICIT DRUGS OR ALCOHOL IN THE WORKPLACE

Hand rolled cigarettes

Cigarette papers

Roach clips

Plastic baggies

Bent Spoons

Razor blades

Short straws

Syringes

Alcohol containers

 

Page updated: June 2009
UNIVERSITY HUMAN RESOURCES
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