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Normalizing Workplace Substance  abuse programs

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The misuse of prescription drugs, recreational drugs, and even alcohol can impact an individual's ability to function correctly and safely in the workplace. Worse yet, is the fact that this misuse not only negatively affects the person's career, livelihood, and ultimately how they take care of themselves and their family, but it can significantly impact the company's operational costs, profit, and productivity.


Even though these statistics can be incredibly problematic and stressful for any business, it does not mean that organizations have to sit back and endure the tragic repercussions on their own. If you are looking for ways to tackle this devastating epidemic, we are here to help. In this blog post, we will discuss EAP substance abuse programs and explain how they are designed to help businesses keep their employees safe and reduce costs associated with substance abuse in the workplace.



Most employers tend to believe that substance and alcohol abuse is not a problem in their workplace. However, this is far from the truth. In fact, almost 75% of employers have reported experiencing the effects of their employees misusing prescription drugs, through:

  • Serious workplace injuries
  • Overdoses at work
  • Positive drug tests
  • Absenteeism

Unfortunately, this problem is becoming more rampant with more people working from home and struggling with addiction through the pandemic, making it even harder for Chief Human Resources Officers and Human Resource Directors to monitor their employees' health. As a result, many significant substance abuse problems are being left unaddressed and causing major issues for companies.



If an employee is teetering on the brink of a drug or alcohol addiction or trying to cope with a substance use disorder, they should be able to turn to their workplace as a point of support and even recovery. However, for many employees suffering from these issues, sharing these problems with their HR or boss is an embarrassing topic that they believe makes them seem "weak" or "unstable."

Yet, it does not have to be this way. When employers make substance abuse a part of their everyday health conversations with their employees, they can make those who need help feel more comfortable speaking up and getting the assistance they require while also eradicating the stigma surrounding this problem.

In recent years, organizations have recognized how substance abuse plays a significant factor in their company's human and financial expenses. As a result, they have begun to find ways to open up to their employees through EAPs and start conversations with them regarding their substance abuse, providing them with a safe space to seek help and get the effective treatment they need.



There are numerous stressors that can create challenges in the workplace. Even though businesses can usually manage some of these factors, such as work-life balance problems or even job security issues, they cannot always manage an employee's personal life, which unfortunately plays a significant role in their job performance and productivity.


Luckily, companies have a way to help these employees get the assistance they need without destroying their trust or causing an extra burden for themselves. An employee assistance program (EAP) is a benefit that a company offers its employees to help them manage various challenges that may affect their job performance. Not only do these programs provide employees with the guidance they require, but they also supply the company with numerous benefits, including:

  • Productivity Benefits: As the employee gets the support they need and starts to heal, they are more likely to produce closer to their total capacity. Studies even show that implementing an EAP can help lower time lost at work by 60% and increase work productivity by 72%.
  • Improved Culture: Generally, healthy, interactive employees are more likely to improve company culture. Meaning that EAPs can help create a culture of safety, a family-friendly workplace, and a drug-free area that promotes a culture of health.
  • Prevention of Work-Related Injuries: Healthy, sober employees are more likely to work safely and within their limits. That is why EAPs are so critical as they can help contribute to the early intervention of employees who are careless, reckless, or have a substance abuse problem. Ultimately, playing a significant role in reducing occupational injuries.
  • Reduction of Worker's Compensation & Disability Claims: An EAP can decrease costly litigation risk by addressing employee issues or complaints before they escalate into something more. As a result of the reduced injuries, employers can save money on various health-related claims.
  • Increased Employee Retention: Healthy, happy employees are more likely to stay with the company, thus reducing employee replacement costs and downtime. This is because EAPs can provide employees with ways to manage their stressors and create a healthier balance between their personal and professional lives. Allowing them to be more engaged at work and creating a more thriving workplace that employees want to be a part of.




Substance abuse disorders can be a significant issue for any company. Fortunately, when these businesses take the first step of destigmatizing treatments, they can provide their workers with the support and services they need to overcome this addiction and get rid of the fear that they will be punished for getting help. Only then will employers change the trajectory of the costs and expenses associated with these substance use disorders in the workplace.

If you are looking for more information regarding EAP substance abuse programs and how to incorporate them into your company, learn more about Employee Recovery's EAP workplace substance abuse programs today.

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