As addiction, especially of prescription drugs, remains a rising problem among adults and adolescents, it is important for employers to identify the warning signs of both prescription and illegal drug abuse, states Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, private residential treatment center for women and adolescent girls in Chicago.

Timberline Knolls' recommendation comes during June's National Employee Wellness, an annual initiative helping employers develop successful health and wellness strategies, and soon after a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that finds more than 12 million people used prescription painkillers nonmedically in 2010.

"Supervisors or human resource representatives need to take an objective stance when approaching an employee who may be struggling with addiction," says Kim Dennis M.D., medical director at Timberline Knolls. "They can mention specific worrisome behaviors that they have observed and relay that they would like to discuss what might be going on. It's important to link the signs and symptoms to job performance when identifying addiction in the workplace."

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