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An Employer’s Guide to Workplace Substance Abuse

Strategies and Treatment Recommendations

Substance abuse is common, and the costs of substance abuse are high for employers.  Of the 20 million
adults classified as having problems with substance dependence or abuse in 2007, approximately
12 million (60%) were employed full time.  In addition to higher absenteeism and lower job productivity
and performance, substance abuse also leads to greater health care expenses for injuries and illnesses.
Furthermore, safety and other risks for employers can increase workers’ compensation and disability
claims.

It is essential that employers understand addiction, the prevalence of substance abuse among working
adults, and the costs related to substance abuse. Substance abuse is treatable, particularly when it
is addressed as a chronic disease.  Reducing employee substance abuse can help employers improve
productivity, reduce workplace injuries, and decrease health care costs.

This guide offers practical solutions for addressing substance abuse.  Employers can address substance use
and abuse in their employee population by:

  • Implementing drug-free workplace and other written substance abuse policies;
  • Offering health benefits that provide comprehensive coverage for substance use disorders, including aftercare and counseling;
  • Educating employees about the health and productivity hazards of substance abuse through company wellness programs, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and Work/Life programs;
  • Utilizing EAP services to help employees with substance abuse;
  • Respecting employees’ privacy; and Reducing stigma in the workplace

Download the full guide >>>

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