Welcome to this special episode of the Pathways 2 Prevention Podcast: We are proud to announce the 14th annual anniversary observance of NATIONAL DRUG-FREE WORK WEEK, OCTOBER 17 - 23, 2022. This yearly public awareness campaign highlights the importance of a drug-free workplace and encourages workers with alcohol and drug problems to seek help.
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The vision, a world where all people live free of the burden of drug abuse. This is the Drug-Free America Foundation's Pathway to Prevention podcast, where we are committed to developing strategies that prevent drug use and promote sustained recovery. Thank you for not only tuning, but for you continued support and efforts to help make this world a better place. We hope you enjoy this episode. Most companies make every effort to provide a safe, healthy work environment for employees. Yet substance abuse and addiction have become very real threats for many of them. Data shows in the past year, over 9% of full-time workers were dependent on or abused alcohol or illicit drugs. That translates into a steep drop in morale and productivity. And an increase in absenteeism and accidents. In some countries, companies are losing billions of dollars a year. So what can be done? Well, the most effective way to prevent alcohol and drug related consequences on the job is through a drug-free workplace program. It gives employees the support to get And allows those in recovery to maintain their sobriety. When both management and staff are involved in the programs, design, review, and enforcement, it can be incredibly effective. Here are six steps that your company can take to create a drug-free workplace. Assess the needs of your company. Develop a policy involving key stakeholders. Educate employees. Train supervisors. Create an employee assistance program implement a drug testing protocol. Employers that follow these steps can dramatically improve the safety and wellbeing of their workforce. Welcome to this special episode of the pathways to prevention podcast. We are proud to announce the 14th annual anniversary observance of national drug-free work week. And it's running October 17th through 23rd. This yearly public awareness campaign highlights the importance of a drug-free workplace and encourages workers with alcohol and drug problems to seek help. So a little background on the history of national drug-free work week. And it was initiated by the us department of labor as a cooperative agreement that was focused on improving safety and And the construction industry through drug-free workplace programs. The very first drug-free workweek was observed in 2006. And in subsequent years, more and more organizations representing a range of industries. All rallied behind the effort. Helping to firmly establish it as an annual opportunity. To reinforce to employers and to employees alike that working drug-free works. Today, the national drug-free workplace Alliance. The division of the drug free America foundation. In collaboration with stakeholders. For a safe and healthy workplace. Promote this annual observance together. Together. We spread the message to encourage individual workplaces, to take this opportunity, to educate and strengthen their safety. And healthy work environments. Thus reflecting the true spirit of national drug-free work week. So what is a drug-free workplace? Well, as defined by the drug-free workplace act of 1988. It's a workplace where the unlawful manufacturer distribution possession or use of controlled substances is prohibited. Okay. That's the definition. Now most employers do strive to provide a safe work environment and encourage just personal health. They consider the abuse of drugs and alcohol on the job. To be an unsafe, counterproductive work practice. They also see substance abuse as a serious threat. To other staff and customers. Now, taking all this into consideration, most employers strictly prohibit the use possession. And sale of illegal drugs and alcohol at Now some employers are regulated by a us government agencies, such as the department of transportation have mandated procedures in And when it comes to a drug-free workplace. A key component to being successful is the training. And the education of both supervisors and employees. Now the national drug-free workplace Alliance does provide online web-based training for both supervisors, employees, and even parent education courses. I can drop a link to that in the show notes here. Now some might say that the primary focus of the drug free workplace is, is more on inherence to. Or compliance with that act from 1988. With the, the wellbeing of the workforce being. Being of secondary importance. But when you look at it in practice, The act has less enforcement strength than other federal laws, such as OSHA or ADA. But. It has been very instrumental. And helping to raise awareness of the issue. Of substance misuse in the workplace. With one in 14 Americans reporting the substance use disorder. There is a serious impact to the workplace. Like many diseases. Persons with substance use disorder. Can be successfully treated under a doctor's care and their condition managed with medication 12 step programs, counseling, or inpatient rehabilitation programs. Uh, stigma at the workplace. Can deeply affect the individual in recovery impeding. Impeding their ability. To seek help. Or sustain their progress. Now. Quick reminder. Stigma is, , Uh, negative judgment or belief about a person. Or group. Based upon a particular characteristics such as substance use. That often triggers guilt. And shame. In that individual that's in recovery. Speaking of recovery. Want to talk about. Recovery friendly workplace. Goes hand in hand, side by side with a drug-free workplace. The recovery friendly workplace initiative was, was established back in 2018. By the governor of New Hampshire. Uh, this initiative encourages public and private sector, employers, employees, and communities. To work together to raise awareness about substance use disorder. At the same time. These employers are encouraged to explore ways to meet the needs of their employees who are in recovery. Those who are curious and want to learn more about recovery. Or who want to access the resources needed to help friends? Uh, families or other loved ones who do struggle with substance use disorder. Now in addition to providing support and access to community resources. The recovery friendly workplace initiatives also seek to reduce or eliminate barriers like stigma. Well creating psychologically safe workplace environments. The recovery friendly workplace champions do understand that stable employment is an essential component of long-term recovery. Uh, holding a steady job offers. Benefits that extend beyond the employee. To their families. To the company. And to the broader community. And the companies that are participating in recovery friendly workplace initiatives. Also realize a direct benefit to their bottom line. The national safety council reports that companies save an average of$8,500 for every employee who are covers from a substance use disorder. And lastly companies that implement recovery friendly workplace initiatives. Provide their employees. With the psychological safety needed to break the stigma. That is normally associated with substance use disorders. Addiction. And recovery. The more workplaces, normalize conversations around substance misuse. Addiction and recovery. The more likely . Employees. We'll proactively. Connect. With their employee assistance program. The service providers or other community based addiction and recovery resources. This proactive approach is much healthier. Than waiting for an accident or critical incident to occur. In the workplace. By creating recovery friendly workplaces. Employers are creating healthy workplaces. We're employees. Are. Able to easily get the help they need. To bring their best selves to work. To wrap up this national drug-free work week. Episode. We have a special message from our friend William Atkinson. Hi. My name is William Atkinson. Um, personal long-term recovery. And what that means. I haven't found necessarily to pick up a drink or a drug since February of 2006. So why should you hire somebody like myself? Because we're going to be the best worker you've ever seen. People like me are often denied opportunities for housing jobs. Position in society that otherwise we would qualify for just based on our merits, but because of the mistakes we made an active addiction, those doors are not always open to Today you have an opportunity to provide a second chance to someone like myself who is actively trying to rebuild their lives and with your support. We'll rebuild their life in recovery. Thank you. That concludes this episode. Thanks for tuning in. 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