10 Solutions For Employers: To Support Employees With Substance Abuse

10 Solutions For Employers: To Support Employees With Substance Abuse


In a world where substance abuse affects millions of people, employers have an ethical responsibility to support employees dealing with addiction. We have designed this article to help employers learn how they can best support their employees with substance abuse.

We have listed 10 cutting edge applications that will help employers choose the best option to support employees with substance abuse.

With a company drug policy to support employees with substance abuse, the employer can decrease their liability for substance abuse violation and importantly promote safe workplace. 

Table of Contents:

Statistics of substance abuse in employees

One in five adults is addicted to alcohol, while one in ten is addicted to drugs. According to a trusted source, around 7.4 million people use prescription opioids for non-medical purposes.

Substance abuse among employees is a problem that companies should be actively seeking out and overcoming. In addition to the cost of substance abuse, many employees present more severe problems for their employer, such as the risk of theft, theft of trade secrets, poor performance, and legal issues.

The Employee Substance Abuse Council found that 72% of employers have experienced at least one loss in productivity due to employee substance abuse. There are various steps that companies must take to educate their employees on the dangers of substance abuse, which will be discussed in the course of this article.

How can the workplace play a role in substance abuse treatment?

The workplace can play a vital role in substance abuse treatment. By collaborating with an employer, the interventionist may help the employee with their addiction and get them back on the right track.

People addicted to drugs or alcohol often need a stable environment for a recovery effort to succeed. The workplace provides that stability for many people because it provides money, benefits, and a sense of purpose that might not be present elsewhere in one's life. The workplace also provides social interactions which can lead to sobriety.

How to identify employees with substance abuse problems?

A drug test is the most accurate way to identify whether an employee has a substance abuse problem. Urine, saliva, and sweat tests can detect substances like MMJ, cocaine, methamphetamine, and alcohol.

Hair testing can determine if someone has recently used drugs or is abusing medications. Drug screenings may also include a questionnaire about medical conditions that could affect the results of a drug test; questions about prescription medications; and questions about family members with substance use problems.

An employee may also be asked to submit to a drug test as part of the terms for receiving a job offer or a requirement for maintaining employment.

Top 10 Applications/Services to deal with addiction

Here are ten top solutions that employers can implement to help prevent and treat addiction within the workplace.

  • 1. QuitNow

  • It is an innovative phone application that enables people who are addicted to rethink their habits and eventually quit for good. It's a free, comprehensive program that helps quit drugs with a personalized commitment device.

    QuitNow was developed by taking advantage of cellular technology to provide people with immediate access to expert advisors who can share information on when, why, where, how and help them understand the benefits of quitting.

    Even with universal access to the Internet, people rarely quit smoking. QuitNow will monitor and alert its users when craving triggers indicate that it is not a good idea, thus helping them to quit drugs instantly and according to their commitment.

    QuitNow monitors the user's health by periodically sending out health reports, for example, in cases of poor breathing.

  • 2. Quit Genius

  • It is one of the most widely used applications in history, Quit Genius has helped millions of people give up their bad habits and regain control over their lives. It's easy to use and empowers people to stop doing things on their own.

    This application uses behavior modification tools based on the ideas of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help quit bad habits. Temptation and the desire to continue a habit are powerful deterrents. But this application succeeds where others fail because it harnesses the power of an individual's own words.

  • 3. Pear reSET

  • This application gives people the tools to change their lives. The pre-sessions allow users to set goals for sobriety, while the Pear reSET sessions help them pursue those goals and stay on track with their recovery.

    It provides a support system for recovery through online meetings and phone calls available six days a week, 365 days a year. The app's user checking feature allows users to check in throughout the day to maintain their sobriety goal.

  • 4. rTribe

  • rTribe is an app that helps people in recovery identify triggers and activities that could lead to relapsing into drug or alcohol use. The app's most significant advantage is its support system.

    People can join a group, post their challenges and encourage each other to stay sober. rTribe features a Daily Dose feature that provides users with advice and tips from experts, including doctors, psychologists, addiction specialists, chemists, and others who want to help users lead a sober life.

  • 5. Sober Grid

  • Sober Grid is a platform to discuss their experience with drugs, including positive and negative aspects of drug use. People can share their personal experiences by writing blog posts or connecting with others through the app.

    The application permits users to communicate anonymously and encourages them to be honest about their addiction and recovery status.

  • 6. Nomo – Sobriety Clocks

  • Nomo is an application that tracks users' sobriety through a combination of GPS and usage. It also offers a to-do list of daily activities so that users can stay on track with their recovery.

    The app's latest feature, called "Nomosphere," helps users reach their goal by showing how they are progressing towards their goal based on their self-reported activity as well as the user's current location and GPS location.

  • 7. Employee Assistance Programs

  • EAPs typically offer assessment, counseling, and referral services for both substance abuse and mental health problems. Employers may ask employees to submit a request form or call EAP first before seeking assistance from an outside treatment program.

    Such requirements can make these programs difficult to use for employees in need of immediate help. In addition, since EAPs are not required by law to provide confidentiality, employees may be reluctant to seek assistance in these programs.

    An alternative to an EAP is a self-help program, which does not involve either assessment or counseling. Self-help refers to individual employee efforts to overcome alcohol or drug problems on their own. A self-help program can involve one-on-one discussions with coworkers and supervisors or group discussion meetings with other employees who are also in recovery.

  • 8. Substance Abuse Programs

  • Treatment programs that help employees who are addicted to alcohol or other substances away from their jobs through such activities as peer assistance, monitoring, and behavioral contracts can be of help in some cases.

    Programs may include individual counseling, a combination of group and individual meetings, lifestyle changes such as exercise and nutritional counseling, and probably most important for employers to note is the requirement to abstain from substance use while attending the program.

    There have been various studies on the efficacy of these types of programs. Some found that the programs were effective, but most studies have had mixed results.

  • 9. Peer Counseling

  • Peer counselors or "friends" are people in recovery who work with friends or coworkers to help them cope with alcohol or drug problems. Peer counselors offer support and help each other to stay sober.

    A peer counselor's role is a combination of "therapist" and "friend." They provide emotional support, practical assistance, and accountability, as well as monitor their progress. There are numerous foundations in the U.S. providing peer counseling for alcoholics and drug addicts.

  • 10. Support Groups

  • Support groups are an essential resource for alcoholics and drug addicts trying to quit. Support groups aid in recovery by helping members learn to cope with and manage problems related to their addictions and allowing them to interact with other people dealing with similar issues.

    Support groups tend to be more successful than other types of recovery help because they are based on helping people manage their addictions and stay sober. Support groups are based on a combination of group therapy and individual sessions.

    Other ways to deal with employee's addiction

    Addiction is a disease that affects everyone in some way. It can be challenging to find the proper treatment and support for employees with addiction. For employers, it can be challenging to know how to handle an employee struggling with addiction.

    Here are the top 10 solutions:

  • 1. Educate employees on drug testing

  • Depending on the type of position you have, it's possible that you need to administer a drug test before hiring someone. These tests may be voluntary or mandatory. Regardless, drug tests can help employers check out potential employees even before starting working on the job.

    Employers can avoid being subjected to these accusations if they provide clear instructions on how their employees should handle drug tests and what happens if they fail one.

  • 2. Employers should provide a clear policy on drug use

  • Employers need to have a clear position on drug use in the workplace. If you find out that an employee is abusing drugs and alcohol, you must deal with the matter as quickly as possible.

    Please don't put it off until tomorrow or later because this makes things worse. It would be best to make sure that your employees understand what you expect from them and how they can change their behavior to continue working with your company.

    It's also vital that your employees know when they're behaving unprofessionally on the job. It is not a good idea to use the office to smoke or drink with friends. It would also help clarify when you consider that using drugs or alcohol on company premises is unacceptable.

  • 3. Don't mark employees down for past drug use

  • Employees who struggle with addiction may have a history of poor performance at their previous jobs. That's because they're working through the denial phase of addiction. They may believe that they can control their drug use and keep working well until something happens and they lose control.

    It would help if you didn't mark them down for this and instead be supportive as you would be with any other employee struggling with a medical condition.

  • 4. Don't blame employees for their past behavior

  • It is recommended if you refrained from blaming employees for their past behavior regarding addiction. It can cause tension between the employer and the employee, which could make problems worse.

  • 5. Choose a rehab facility that fits your needs

  • There is no one solution for employers and employees when it comes to drug or alcohol abuse. You need to find a rehab facility that specifically meets your individual needs. It includes choosing the type of rehab facility (inpatient or outpatient) and the type of treatment that best suits your workplace.

  • 6. Encourage employees to speak to your HR department

  • Employees are usually too embarrassed to talk about their addiction problems with their manager or human resources department. You must encourage them to speak to an HR representative.

    Keep in mind that your employees are probably very stressed out, and sometimes they may feel like they have nowhere to turn. Inviting them to talk with your HR department helps relieve their stress and gives them the confidence to approach you if they need help.

  • 7. Make sure employees know how to get help

  • Employees must know how to get resources when they're feeling down or stuck. It means that you need to provide information about your company's employee assistance program.

    This way, they're aware of the options available to them and can contact a professional if one of these options doesn't work for them.

    8. Encourage employees to make lifestyle changes

    There are no guarantees that your employee's behavior will improve when they're working with you. You need to encourage employees to make lifestyle changes to help them deal with these issues.

    It can mean getting a personal sponsor, undergoing therapy, or attending a counseling session. It also means encouraging your employees to attend meetings or using other nearby resources that deal with alcohol and drug addiction.

  • 9. Support your employees in their recovery

  • Even if your employee doesn't improve, you can still be supportive of their recovery. It can mean the development of a performance plan to help the employee regain confidence and effectiveness.

    You should also make sure that you're supporting them in finding treatment and not putting pressure on them to quit their job until they're ready.

  • 10. Provide support for their family

  • It can be difficult for employees to deal with drug or alcohol addiction when trying to do it independently. They may need support and encouragement from family and friends to continue their recovery. It is why employers must provide resources that help them take care of their families.

    Benefits for employers/organizations

    What are the benefits of protecting employees from addiction?

    You might think it's too much of a hassle to provide anti-addiction programs when you're busy with your work schedule, but the benefits are vast. Here are a few benefits of supporting employees from drug addiction:

    • Employees become more productive: Addiction and its related problems can affect an employee's performance. Helping employees deal with addiction can motivate employees to work harder because they don't want to be tempted by their addiction.
    • A drug-free workplace is safer: An employee who is at work under the influence of drugs is a safety risk to themself as well as coworkers and others. If an employee is addicted to drugs, they will have reduced inhibitions and may act erratically.
    • It improves employee health: Employee's health is essential to the workplace as well. Anticipating addictive behavior in employees, you can help them get treatment before it starts and pro-actively addresses their treatment needs, so they are always in good physical shape.
    • Decreases absenteeism: Employees might be less likely to miss work if they work through their addiction or recovery with your organization's assistance.
    • Increases employee retention: Helping employees struggling with drug addiction ensures that they will have a solid reason to remain with your company. It will help keep them away from leaving for another employer where they might be tempted to continue their addiction.

    Conclusive Statement

    Addiction is a disease that adversely affects people from all walks of life. Hopefully, these tips will help you to be better prepared to protect your employees at work. If any of these tips are not enough and your employees still experience drug abuse, it's important to seek addiction treatment care immediately.

    They might require professional help for their recovery. You might want to consider whether the best outcome for your staff would be a return to work or an effective medical detoxification program to put addiction under control before employees can return to work.

    Remember that your employees want to be successful and don't waste their potential on drug abuse. It's essential to make sure that your company can help.

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