Last updated: December 4, 2023
The term “drug paraphernalia” refers to anything that assists the user in their abuse. Finding an employee in possession of a syringe is a huge sign that they may be a drug addict. And, should an employee have a small scale with them at work, things could be worse. There could actually be drug deals going on right under your nose.
Although disconcerting, it’s an extremely reasonable thought. Someone packing around a scale is not something that is viewed as “normal” in the average workplace.
The digital age
You would still be likely to find “triple-beam scales” in the home of a drug dealer but the odds that someone would pack such a contraption to work are extremely low. Small, metal handheld scales are available. However, the odd-looking contraptions could easily poke or prod someone when stashed in a pocket.
As with everything else, it seems, the age of super electronics is making a difference in the black market as well. Digital scales that are no bigger than a cell phone easily slide into pockets or purses. One would think that actually weighing illicit substances in a public place would be considered taboo! However, when you consider the fact that dealers are almost always users as well, unreasonable thinking makes more sense.
Drugs change the way we think
Drug use affects the way the brain processes things—it’s the reason that most people try drugs in the first place.
The human brain is the most complex organ in the human body. It’s the command center for every single thing that we do—from breathing to organizing our desks. It’s what allows us to comprehend, move about, speak… of course, the list goes on.
Drug use interferes with the way our brains transmit, receive, and process information. For instance, marijuana and heroin can activate neurons within the brain because their chemical make-up mimics that of a natural transmitter. In other words, the drugs attach to the neurons and activate them causing feelings of euphoria.
Amphetamines or cocaine use causes the brain to release abnormally large amounts of neurotransmitters or prevents the normal recycling of certain brain chemicals by interfering with transporters. This causes a heightened sense of alertness and bursts of energy.
To summarize, drug use interferes with the brain’s normal communication process. That leads to abnormal messages being sent through the network of the brain. It affects our reactions to the things going on around us and how our body acts as a whole. Sometimes that results in the body completely shutting down. Breathing and heart rates stop. The drug user dies of a drug overdose.
Why does the brain form an addiction?
The difference between normal chemical reactions of pleasure and those stimulated by drug use can be likened to the difference between a trickle of water or opening the floodgates. Drug use is the floodgate.
Once the brain experiences such an overload of euphoria—or stimulation—it wants more. Natural responses that cause that effect lessen in comparison. The person misusing drugs isn’t motivated—or is unable—to enjoy the things that were pleasurable to them before. They feel they need to keep taking drugs to attain even the normal level of reward stimulation. And, because they are searching for the “super” high, they up their dosage.
The body can handle only so much of that and when the dosage levels become too high, the body shuts down entirely.
The weight of it all
We determined that it would be unlikely for someone to have a scale with them at work. We have also shown that drug use affects the brain and clouds judgment.
It could be that the person knew they would be approached for drugs but didn’t have time to ready their wares for resale. Having a pocket scale and small bags to distribute the drug—whatever it may be—allows them to sneak away to a quiet area to ready their product for their customers.
Virtually every drug sold on the street gets weighed. Dealers need a scale to make that happen because guessing is either going to short the customer or themselves. Of course, shorting the customer wouldn’t be a bad thing in their eyes because it leaves more for them to make a profit. However, if the customer suspects they’ve been shorted and whips out a scale of their own, it could be really bad for business.
Scaling down drug use
Promoting a drug-free workplace establishes the fact that you don’t tolerate drug use in any way, shape, or form. If someone who uses drugs knows they will be tested for use, odds are they won’t even apply for the job.
Drug-free programs are one of the best deterrents that an employer can put in place to ensure the safety of their employees. Additionally, your employees are your largest asset and keeping them safe on the job should be a number one priority for every business owner.
Companies that have drug-free policies in place report fewer accidents, lower rates of absenteeism, less employee turnover, and a reduction in medical costs. If you don’t have a drug-free workplace, maybe it’s time to look into it.
Your employees aren’t going to rebel at the thought—well, maybe a few will, but they won’t let you know that. Instead, you’re likely to hear that they are highly in favor of your decision because they know it means you care about their well-being. And, deep down, even an employee who is abusing drugs should realize that too.