Developing a drug free workplace is essential for employers. However, it can be difficult to encourage employees suffering from drug or alcohol abuse to seek help. With fear of retaliation, possibilities of termination, and breach of confidentiality, employees are more reluctant in seeking help. In order for employers to demonstrate to their employees their concern regarding an employee’s drug or alcohol abuse problems, employers must implement strategies that will assist them in being most effective in providing assistance to their employees.
Encourage Employees to Seek Treatment for Drug or Alcohol Abuse
Due to the increase of drug and alcohol use among workers, employers are tasked with finding innovative approaches to encourage treatment. Here are some ways employers can positively influence employees to get help if they suffer from drug or alcohol abuse:
- Group Health Insurance Plan - Ensure your health insurance policy provides substance abuse services to employees. This is one approach that can provide confidential services and assistance.
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy - Be proactive in ensuring your company's drug and alcohol use policy addresses this topic providing clear instructions on how employees can obtain services.
- Educate Management - Ensure management is educated on available resources onsite and offsite. Also, educate managers on the drug or alcohol abuse policy so they are aware of processes and procedures.
- Promote Resources Internally - Staff should be made aware of the services and programs offered by the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) available through your company. Increase awareness of EAP by enhancing your company's wellness program and hosting workshops.
- Partner with Community Programs - Employers can encourage employee participation in a number of programs sponsored within the community. The Women’s Alcohol & Drug Rehab Center provides residential treatment services to women in the Houston area. Another great resource is the Memorial Hermann Prevention & Recovery Center providing services and resources available to individuals and their families to end the cycle of addiction. There are many other treatment centers in the Houston area offering rehabilitation, addiction, and substance abuse services.
According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over 70 percent of illicit drug users are employed.
Employers are able to implement policies, provide services, and support employees in seeking help if they suffer from drug or alcohol abuse and addiction. Through the implementation of policies and education, employees can make services readily available and encourage employees to use the resources that are provided by the company. These efforts will assist employers in demonstrating to their workforce they are concerned about their well being at work and within their personal lives.
By implementing these approaches, a company is able to positively enforce treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, reduce costs, enhance employee morale, and overall foster a drug free workplace environment.