The Stigma of Addiction in the Workplace

  • Ann RocheEmail author
  • Victoria Kostadinov
  • Ken Pidd


Stigma related to alcohol and other drug (AOD) use is highly prevalent in society, including within the workplace. Workers who use AOD in ways contrary to social norms may be subject to negative assumptions regarding their capacity to be valuable employees. As a result, they can experience discrimination in hiring and career progression decisions, as well as marginalization and exclusion from full participation in work life. Workplaces may also implement policies and procedures in an effort to manage employee AOD use but in doing so inadvertently promote and perpetuate the stigmatization of individuals who use AOD. A “whole-of-workplace” approach is recommended as an alternative method of addressing workplace AOD use without concomitantly increasing stigma. In addition, a number of targeted antistigma strategies are suggested to decrease AOD-related stigma in the workplace, including information and education, workplace policies and supports, and societal strategies.


Workplace Employee Substance use Alcohol use Drug use Stigma Discrimination Intervention 



The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), Flinders University, is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Drug and Alcohol Program.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA)Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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