Meth to Their Madness

Do some of your employees have a need for speed? Find out how to handle it.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the February 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Americans are working harder and longer, and now some people are turning to drugs for a quick boost--with dire consequences. Drugs in the workplace may not be a new phenomenon, but there's a new poison taking precedence: Workplace methamphetamine abuse rose 68 percent in 2003 from a year earlier, according to data from Quest Diagnostics Inc., a large supplier of employee drug tests.

Methamphetamine, a type of speed, initially gives users a feeling of incredible energy, followed by a physical and mental crash. "It keeps them awake, and they can do marathon-type work," says Timothy Dimoff, CEO and president of Akron, -based SACS Consulting & Investigative Services Inc., a solutions provider for high-risk workplace issues. "When they crash, they'll be sluggish, inattentive, lethargic; they'll fall asleep at work or call in sick."

Both ends of the spectrum cause serious damage to employees and the overall work environment. While high on meth, employees may think they're in control, but it's a false sense of security, says Dimoff, as employees are not completely aware of their environment and are apt to have more on-the-job accidents. Signs of meth include dizziness, irritability, sudden , inability to get along with co-workers or supervisors, and a possible tendency toward violence.

If you see any of these signs in an employee, act quickly. You should have a drug policy in your employee handbook that details your right to test for drug use, a timeline for a probationary period during which the employee can get help, as well as the right to terminate a drug user if he or she refuses help or tests positive during probation. "If the employee does not stop using [meth], you have no choice but to eliminate the safety risk from your company with termination," says Dimoff.

For more information on addiction, check out Dimoff's website at or Addiction Intervention Resources at


More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
From business to marketing, sales, design, finance, and technology, we have the top 3 percent of Experts ready to work for you. Join the future of work and learn more about our Expert solutions!

Latest on Entrepreneur