Substance Abuse Awareness in the Workplace

Supervisors and Employees

Substance Abuse Awareness in the Workplace Drug and Alcohol Training For Employees

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 one-hour Substance Abuse Workplace Training module covers drug and alcohol training for employees, use of illicit drugs, misuse of prescription drugs, and identifying the symptoms of an employee working under the influence or impaired. The course includes substance abuse training to promote awareness and safety in the workplace.

  • Define the meaning of drug abuse and its related terms
  • Explain the impact on the workplace of drugs and the impaired employee
  • List the most commonly used and abused drugs
  • Recognize the symptoms and behaviors produced by drug-impaired employees
  • Explain appropriate intervention steps to follow when confronted with a drug-crisis employee
  • Describe company policy and prevention strategies
  • Identify available resources to help with substance abuse

Our Workplace Substance Abuse Awareness Training also covers:

What is substance abuse in the workplace?

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:

  • Narcotics
  • Depressants
  • Stimulants
  • Hallucinogens
  • Anabolic Steroids


substance abuse in the workplace and man Thinking About His Addiction Problem 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 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:

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:

Did You Know?

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has an Employee Assistance Program that assists employees with substance abuse problems. This includes:

Legal Considerations

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.

Some federal agencies provide guidelines for drug and alcohol training for employees including the Federal Transit Administration.  They provide a monthly newsletter with updates.  Here are the FTA’s most recent updates on its drug and alcohol program in January, 2023.

Statues include:

These statutes set specific limits on how far an employer can investigate and establish consequences for employee drug use.

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