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To assist employers and employees in maintaining a safe workplace, Compliance Training Group offers Substance Abuse in the Workplace training. Workplace substance abuse affects all businesses, regardless of size or industry. Of the 12.3 million American adults who are current illicit drug users, 9.4 million (77 percent) are employed. Our two-hour Substance Abuse Workplace Training module covers Alcohol abuse, use of illicit drugs, misuse of prescription drugs, and how to identify the signs of an employee working while they are under the influence. Included in the course are substance abuse training videos to promote awareness in the workplace.
What is substance abuse?
Substance abuse is the use of a substance for something other than its intended medical or social purpose. Abuse results in an impaired physical and mental condition and can also cause a deceptive state of euphoria, or a false sense of well-being. Abuse can often easily lead to addiction and cause dependency that can be physical, mental or both. In addition, substance abuse can create personal, family, and financial problems beyond the abuser’s control. All controlled substances have abuse potential. Some drugs alleviate pain, anxiety, or depression. Some induce sleep. Some energize the user.
There are five categories of drugs:
- Anabolic Steroids
The Drug Enforcement Administration is the federal agency that is responsible for enforcing the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States. The DEA organized all controlled substances in in a Schedule which groups substances based on their potential for abuse, their legitimate medical use, and whether the substance will lead to psychological or physical dependence. For a full list of all controlled substances, visit:
How does substance abuse affect employers?
People who abuse alcohol or drugs tend to neglect nutrition, sleep and other basic health needs. This leads to:
- Increased absenteeism and tardiness
- Increased use of sick time
- Decreased job performance
Employees who come to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be physically and mentally impaired while on the job. As a result they lack motivation to perform at capacity and also present a major safety risk when operating equipment. This leads to:
- Working slower
- Increased errors
- Decreased morale
- Industrial Accidents/Workplace injuries
Employees who are addicted to drugs or alcohol may bring their chemical dependency to your doorstep. Employee theft often occurs to pay for the user’s addiction. Workplace violence can occur when an addict calls their dealer to meet them at work during lunch.
- Workplace Violence
Did You Know?
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has an Employee Assistance Program that assists employees with substance abuse problems. This includes:
I. Counseling… The EAP will provide up to six counseling sessions with a Licensed Mental Health Professional in your geographic area. If the problem is not resolvable in that time frame, or if specialized services are needed, an appropriate referral will be made.
II. Training… Each year, the EAP provides over 200 prevention and education workshops throughout the DEA. Our programs are designed to help prevent problems before they start, and to resolve early-stage problems before they get larger. Topics include EAP Orientation, Substance Misuse, Stress Management and 28 more.
III. Assistance for Managers… Unlimited, first-person consultations are available to all DEA Managers for personal and workplace issues from either their local Area Clinicians or the EAP staff at DEA Headquarters.
IV. Emergency Intervention… The EAP maintains a 24-hour, Toll-Free HelpLine that provides emergency consultation any time of the day or night. The EAP’s Trauma Team responds to all operational traumatic incidents and is available to all DEA Employees and families to support them through personal traumas. Victims of Operational Traumas receive mandatory Clinical Briefings from an EAP Clinician within 48 hours of an incident.
For more information, visit:
Our Workplace Substance Abuse Awareness Training also covers:
- Early intervention – Learn how to identify the symptoms of an employee while they are under the influence
- Behavioral Impact – Carelessness and risk taking, declining performance, failure to follow rules, policies, and safety procedures.
- Physical Changes – Some stimulants like methamphetamine lead to facial sores, rotting teeth, weight loss, tremors, and a distinctive odor (uric acid).
- The Importance of a Substance Abuse Policy – The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires some Federal contractors and all Federal grantees to agree to provide drug-free workplaces as a precondition of receiving contracts or grants from Federal agencies. Having a strong policy in place can also aid in substance abuse prevention.
- Documenting problems of potential substance abuse – there are Legal Obligations to the Employer when substance abuse occurs on Company property or injuries occur during a workplace accident. Review the major areas of statutory and civil liabilities that may require employers to take action to prevent abuse and maintain a drug-free workplace.
- Preventative Measures – A successful prevention program relies on pre-employment drug screening, criminal record screening, well-communicated policies with signage in common areas like the break room, and using references and verification of previous employment.
There are no requirements for the majority of private employers to maintain a drug-free workplace policy. However, there are several requirements for federal contractors and grantees to adhere to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.
In addition to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, there are several federal statutes that give legal protections to certain classes of employees:
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993
- The National Labor Relations Act (NRLA) of 1935
These statutes set specific limits on how far an employer can investigate and establish consequences for employee drug use.