Addiction has a way of spreading into every area of a person’s life, including family, social relationships and work. Because as many as 60 percent of people with chemical dependencies are employed full-time, employers must be prepared to address potential abuse and addiction among their employees.1

One Option: Employee Assistance Programs

Employee assistance programsOne way a company’s human resources department can support their staff with help for addiction is through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). An EAP is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals and follow-up services for employees who have personal or work-related problems.2 Through these programs, employers can proactively work with their team members to protect their careers from the harmful effects of drug addiction.

Employer Tips: How to Support Your Employees

Drug addiction treatment has become increasingly important for employers due to the ongoing opioid crisis. While 71 percent of U.S. employers say they have been affected in some way by employee misuse of legally prescribed medications, including opioids, only 19 percent reported feeling “extremely prepared” to deal with it.3,4

As an employer, you face potential problems due to employee drug abuse, including impairment, risk of accidents, errors and injury. This is why it is important for you to be able to recognize signs of addiction, and offer your staff the resources they need to receive treatment. An EAP is one vehicle for workers to access these resources, and it can create a safe space in the workplace. You can set these up in-house, and the Society of Human Resources Management offers a free toolkit to guide employers in this process. Additionally, an EAP can be outsourced either entirely or partially to a third party vendor.3

Beyond EAPs, several employers are taking direct action to minimize the impact of the opioid crisis on their businesses. For example the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed to add opioids to its drug tests for safety-sensitive jobs, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed adding opioids to its federal worker drug testing. Incorporating coverage for prescription drug abuse into health insurance policies is another way your organization can be proactive in combating the opioid crisis.3

Employee Tips: How to Seek Help from Your Employer

One of the most common reasons people give for not entering rehabilitation is a fear of it ruining their careers.5 The first step in overcoming this fear is reviewing your company’s healthcare and drug and rehabilitation policies, and setting up a time to speak with your manager or human resources about your substance abuse.

In reviewing these policies and speaking with management, you may find that you have access to counseling and other services included in an EAP. Because all EAPs must adhere to strict confidentiality policies, you can be assured your participation in the program will not be divulged to colleagues. You can feel free pursue this treatment without fear of your personal information being compromised.

Additionally, because the Family and Medical Leave Act provides employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for a year, team members can use this time to enter drug addiction treatment. If you are transparent with your employer about needing a medical leave, you can ensure your job responsibilities will be covered in your absence.5

We Can Help

At Lakeside, we offer The Landing program, which is specifically designed for working professionals dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues. The Landing offers patients a comfortable environment where they can receive individualized treatment and stay connected to family and career demands.

The facility includes amenities such as a fitness center, business center and a serenity garden. Additionally, the program provides individual therapy as well as specialty therapeutic groups for working professionals, so you can find a setup that best meets your needs.

Call us today at 901-500-8517 to learn more about The Landing.

1. How to Help an Employee with a Drug or Alcohol Problem. February 23, 2017.
2. Frequently Asked Questions. OPM.Gov. Accessed November 12, 2017.
3. How employers and advisers can address the opioid crisis. October 29, 2017.
4. I Lost My Brother to Opioid Addiction. Here’s How Employers Can Address The Crisis. October 9, 2017.
5. Should You Tell Your Employer You Have a Substance Abuse Problem? January 20, 2017.

Written by Taylor Davis