Crisis Next Door
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Prevention Week campaign invites communities to raise awareness about the importance of preventing substance misuse. Free materials include videos, web graphics, and print graphics, such as signs to show how you’re playing a part to reduce the opioid crisis. [Get Free Materials]
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “It only takes a little to lose a lot” Rx Awareness campaign increases awareness that prescription opioids can be addictive and dangerous. The campaign shares stories of real people whose lives were torn apart by prescription opioid misuse.
Free materials include testimonials, radio ads, web banners, social media ads, newspaper ads, and billboards. [Get Free Materials]
The Office of National Drug Control Policy’s “The Crisis Next Door” campaign serves as a space for Americans to digitally share their stories about opioid misuse. [Read Opioid Misuse Stories]
Employees need to know they can get help at the first signs of a problem. Employers need to develop and reinforce a culture of openness around opioids and other substance misuse by supporting employees, even when they’re facing challenges.
Employers are responsible for protecting the safety of their employees. One important step is to develop a policy with clear expectations and consequences related to substance use.
Develop or update a written policy that’s customized to your organization. For example, existing policies may not explicitly cover prescription drug misuse or cannabis use.
All employees should be able to easily understand the policy. It’s also a good idea to ask for written confirmation that the employee has read the policy and understands it.
Effective workplace policies and drug testing interventions should outline the following:
A good policy also provides a record of the organization’s efforts and is a reference if the policy is challenged. And it might help protect the employer from certain kinds of claims by employees.
Consider an accepting approach instead of a zero-tolerance approach. For example, amend policies that require the automatic termination of an employee after their first positive drug test for nonmedically approved drug use.
An alternative approach is to create a policy that provides mandatory counseling for employees who fail a drug test. This gives the employee a second chance and can save the cost of hiring and training a replacement.
Some people misuse prescription pain relievers after being injured on the job. Others may misuse to reduce work-related anxiety or stress, or to cope with irregular sleep patterns due to shift work or long hours.
It’s important to provide employees with the benefits they need to be healthy. They also need to know about these resources and how to access them.
Ensure that employee health plans include behavioral health services for substance misuse. A well-structured plan reinforces an employer’s drug-free workplace policy.
Offer health benefits that provide coverage for substance misuse disorders, including aftercare and counseling as a default option for all staff. [Download Factsheet]
Coupled with health benefits, EAPs play a vital role in encouraging employee wellness and reducing health risks.
To be effective, EAPs must:
Make sure employees can easily access the EAP for confidential substance misuse screening, counseling, and treatment and support services, and for behavioral health and work and family life problems.
Promote EAPs and educate staff using posters, flyers, newsletters, e-mails, or web portals.
For occupational injury and illness, workers’ comp provides medical benefits, lost wages, retraining, and assistance in returning to work.
Work with your workers’ comp insurer to provide education and resources related to employee rights, possible hazards, general health and safety requirements, and knowledge about substance misuse.
Monitor workers’ comp claims because employees recovering from painful occupational injuries may be at risk of prescription opioid misuse.
Directly address substance misuse in new or existing health and wellness programs:
Be creative! Health and wellness programs are most effective when they’re tailored to the needs and culture of an organization.
Connect employees with groups and other community resources addressing substance misuse. Feature these resources on web portals and bulletin boards.
Identify and build relationships with a variety of community-based substance use prevention resources: