Recovery Matters

Workplace Addiction

Workplace Addiction what can be done?

HR professionals are often the first port of call in dealing with crises within the organization. Substance abuse and related disorders have infiltrated the corporate world and more often, are presenting as common crises to be dealt with. Workplace Addiction in the corporate world can be dealt with constructively. And admission into treatment can be facilitated with relative ease and appropriate corporate support.Workplace Addiction staff

Houghton House has an addiction training programme aimed at equipping corporate partners with the correct information and skills in order to benefit the employee in crises and the corporate concerned.

Drug and Alcohol abuse in the workplace is, in many cases, a dismissible offence. Although it is viewed to be a personal problem, it affects an employee’s performance at work resulting in absenteeism, accidents, illness and possibly death due to accident – all of which could add to the company’s cost.

According to studies conducted by the International Labour Organisation on the abuse of alcohol and drugs in Workplace Addiction, the following was found:

  1. Absenteeism of employees with alcohol and drug problems was three times higher than for other employees.
  2. Employees with chemical dependence problems claimed sick benefits three times more than other employees and also made compensation claims five times more than other employees.
  3. 20% to 25% of injuries in the workplace involved employees under the influence of alcohol.
  4. Drugs and alcohol supplied at work amounts to 15% to 30% of all accidents at work.

Differing from predictable insight, most people with an alcohol or substance use disorder continue to hold down a job.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), more than 70 percent of those abusing illicit drugs are employed, as are most binge drinkers.

The most common illicit drugs abused on the job are marijuana and cocaine.

Porn and sex addiction is also very prevalent in the workplace

Kenneth Wilson on Workplace AddictionKenneth Wilson ( shown Left ) is currently the Director of Houghton House Outpatient Services.

As a registered Counselling Psychologist he deals with Love addiction and sex addiction. Which are seen as are intimacy disorders and needs for control, power, love or affection. Like all addictions, intimacy disorders like sex addiction and love addiction are progressive in nature. More Details at 

Two-thirds of human resources professionals said in a survey they’ve discovered pornography on employee computers. Nearly half of those, 43 percent, said they had found such material more than once. – study conducted by Business & Legal Reports.

A  study of 350 companies found that one-third of workers admitted passing along porn at some time – and half of all workers said they’d been exposed to sexually explicit material by co-workers. – study conducted by Queen’s University

Indicators of Sexual Addiction in the workplace

So how do you know if someone you work with suffers from a sex or porn addiction? While a definite analysis for sexual addiction could only be done by a mental health expert, the behaviour patterns below can indicate its occurrence in any setting.

  1. Acting out: a ongoing pattern of extreme and out-of-control sexual conduct
  2. Undergoing severe penalties due to sexual conduct, and an failure to stop even with these adverse costs
  3. Insistent quest of self-destructive conduct
  4. Continuing wish or struggle to control sexual behavior
  5. Sexual fascination and fantasy as a main managing approach
  6. attempting to increase the quantity of sexual experience as the present level of activity is no longer adequate.
  7. Severe attitude and temper changes linked to sexual activity
  8. Excessive amounts of time spent finding sex, being sexual, and recuperating from extreme sexual practises.
  9. Disregard of important community, work-related, or recreational events because of sexual conduct.

Telltale signs of what this looks like in the workplace.

  • Secretive behaviour hiding Internet use.
  • Deteriorating work performance
  • Retreating away from others
  • Amplified petulance
  • Lack of sleep and deteriorating wellbeing
  • Deteriorating personal interactions
  • Unsuitable sharing of sexual stories and anecdotes with others

as disorder gradually gets worse, the symptomatic conduct and their related costs become more obvious to friends and coworkers.

The presence of four or more of these signs within a six month period of time is a strong indicator that this individual may have a serious problem and require some help or intervention.

Link to further Porn addiction information >>>

Alex Hamlyn is co-founder and Head of Treatment at the Houghton House Group  in Johannesburg Gauteng dealing with Workplace Addiction

Alex Hamlin Workplace Addiction houghton HouseAlex (seen left) trains counsellors, human resources departments, student counsellors and a number other professionals with a series of specialised courses on Workplace Addiction namely “12 Core Functions of Addiction Counselling” & “Counselling the Addicted Communities”.

He is a certified member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counsellors (NAADAC) and an accredited addictions counsellor in the United Kingdom Professional Certification Board of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counsellors (UKPCBADC) since 2000 Alex is well qualified to handle virtually any substance abuse case. (details at

Details of the Workplace Addiction Intervention Programme for Human Resource professionals have been outlined below.

  • A brief overview of the intervention process
  • The full spectrum of treatment available
  • Liaising with management / IR issues
  • Reintegration back into the workplace
  • Medical Aids
  • The culture of recovery and maintenance programmes going forward

Houghton has a Corporate Partner Network which includes prominent South African based corporations. This workplace addiction support network provides periodic training programmes and also entitles employees referred by an associated HR department to a free assessment.

Call us now on our 24hour helpline 079 770 7532


Workplace Addiction
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Workplace Addiction
HR professionals are often the first port of call in dealing with crises within the organization. Substance abuse and related disorders have infiltrated the corporate world and more often, are presenting as common crises to be dealt with.
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