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Alert, Productive—and Addicted


Kevin Troutman was quoted in Human Resource Executive Online on April 30, 2015. The article “Alert, Productive—and Addicted” shedded light on the growing number of young adults entering the workplace that take ADHD medications on a daily basis, with some abusing those drugs as an easy—but dangerous—way to improve their concentration and alertness at work.

Kevin, who spent 17 years as an HR practitioner in the healthcare industry before switching careers to become an employment attorney, said the misuse by employees of legal drugs—long a concern in the healthcare sector—has now spread to most other industries.

“It is becoming more of an issue because more and stronger medicines are available and people are tempted to use them in the workplace,” said Kevin.

HR should stress that productivity arising from the misuse of an ADHD drug will likely lead to problems down the road, said Kevin.

“I’m sure there are times when supervisors are feeling the pressure to do more with less and so are employees,” said Kevin. “So it comes down to articulating the company’s values: ‘We’re not going to compromise the health and safety of our employees just to get things done—it’s not the right thing to do and it’s harmful in the long-term.’”

Another option is enhanced drug screening, Kevin added.

“Most companies have been doing the traditional five-panel drug screen, but should probably look at doing a seven- or nine-panel drug screen that can detect these medications,” said Kevin. “Employees who test positive and who don’t have a prescription can be referred to the EAP.”

To read the full article, please visit Human Resource Executive Online.


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