Employees and students at Umeå University have a joint responsibility to work actively with alcohol and drug prevention and work towards an open and health-promoting discussion climate about alcohol and drugs. Alcohol-free options must always be offered at parties. Employees and students who show signs of alcohol- or drug-related illness must be offered help and support early on.
Signs to watch out for
Signs of risky use, harmful use and addiction can be both clear and less clear. It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish these signs from symptoms related to other problems. But regardless of what's behind it, it's important to take the signs or symptoms seriously. Signs in the workplace can be:
- Changed behavior – restlessness, nervousness, lethargy, low mood, irritability or tendencies to isolate.
- Worse work performance – poorer concentration, more mistakes, forgetting things.
- Absence - increased absence, temporary absence, late arrival, leaving too early, applying for vacation and compensatory leave on the same day or in arrears, being absent due to illness in connection with weekends and/or salary payment.
- Defending drug use - different ways to defend one's harmful use or addiction.
- Problems in the work group – excuses, absences that affect work, difficulty cooperating
If you need support and help with substance abuse problems
If you feel that you have a problem with your alcohol or drug consumption, you can get support and help both inside and outside of the university.
If you do not feel comfortable talking to your manager, there are other people and organisations you can turn to, for example your HR support or the work environment representative at your institution/unit. You can also contact one of the organisations in the list to your right.
If you think a colleague has substance abuse problems
It is common for problems with alcohol to be discovered by colleagues. As an employee, you must contribute to a good and safe working environment, which means that you cannot turn a blind eye to problems and safety risks.
It is important to speak directly to the person concerned or raise the matter with the immediate manager. A person affected at work can be a safety risk both for himself and others.
A person who you feel has a problem may need help and although it may feel difficult to act, the best thing you can do is to tell them what you see.
If someone smells of alcohol or seems under the influence in any way - immediately tell the person what you see, and your manager. Be factual, say what you see and how it affects you and the job. Show that you care!
Your manager's responsibility
The manager's duties include creating the conditions for a good working environment and preventing employees from falling ill or having accidents.
Employees who show signs of alcohol or drug-related ill health are a work environment problem and your manager has a responsibility to act.