Identifying and Responding to Substance Abuse in the Workplace Training for Supervisors. Presentation Subtitle/Description • Presenter’s Name • Date. Introduction.
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Presentation Subtitle/Description • Presenter’s Name • Date
Substance abuse in the workplace results in absenteeism, diminished productivity, on-the-job injuries and potential company liability. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the annual cost of alcoholism and drug addiction to U.S. businesses is approximately $120 billion, which is more than the productivity loss due to heart disease, diabetes and stroke combined. To help lower these costs, it is important for employers to train their supervisors on how to identify and respond to substance abuse in the workplace.
This sample presentation is intended for presentation to management. It covers both alcohol and illegal drug abuse. It is designed to be presented by an individual who is knowledgeable in the area of substance abuse, safety & health as well as employee and labor relations. This is a sample presentation that must be customized to match the company’s policies, procedures, state and federal laws, collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and culture.
At the end of this presentation, you will be able to:
As noted in the introduction to this presentation, the annual combined cost of alcoholism and drug addiction to U.S. businesses is approximately $120 billion, which is more than the productivity loss attributable to heart disease, diabetes and stroke combined.(1)
Twelve percent of full-time employees acknowledged either having used an illicit drug or having had five or more drinks at a time five or more times, or both, in the previous month.(2)
1 .Source: National Institutes of Health. Disease-Specific Estimates of Direct and Indirect Costs of Illness and NIH Update. Department of
Health and Human Services, 1997.
2 .Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The NHSDA Report. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 2001.
Identifying and responding to substance abuse:
Under the ADA, alcoholism is a disability, but alcoholic employees may be held to the same standards as other employees, even if unsatisfactory performance is caused by the alcoholism.
Neither the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) nor the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protect current users of illegal drugs.
Absences due to substance abuse may be covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if the abuse constitutes a serious health condition which includes:
Under medical privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), an employer may not:
Under HIPAA Medical Privacy Rules, it is important to have firewalls between employees who administer group health plan and employees who are involved in employment-related functions.
Specifically on substance abuse testing:
What federal laws pertain to substance abuse in the workplace?
Are there privacy concerns related to substance abuse testing?
How does the ADA pertain to substance abuse?
How is substance abuse handled under FMLA?
Typical warning signs of substance abuse at work are listed below. No one sign should be taken as an indication of substance abuse. Some or all signs could be indicative of a problem and could constitute grounds for testing based upon reasonable suspicion. A supervisor needs to discuss his/her observations with HR before approaching or confronting an employee.
(Provide copies of your policy to all attendees and review all or most important components. The following slides are based on a standard substance abuse policy. You will want to review and revise these to match your own policy or you may replace these slides with the most important parts of your own policy.)
The following are important components of our substance abuse policy:
[Company Name] strictly prohibits the using, possessing, buying, selling, manufacturing or dispensing an illegal drug and being under the influence of alcohol at work
Employees found to be in violation of our substance abuse policy will be subject to disciplinary action, including termination of employment
Violations of the policy may also constitute an illegal activity that may result in the employee’s arrest and prosecution.
The company provides counseling services through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or employees seeking substance abuse assistance.
Substance abuse testing includes:
What are some warning signs of a possible substance abuse problem?
What are some of the important components of our policy?
What should a supervisor do if he/she suspects substance abuse?
What is the role of the supervisor in responding to substance abuse?
It is important to identify and respond to substance abuse in the workplace because of the high costs of illegal drug and alcoholism-related absenteeism, lost productivity, and workplace injuries. In addition, identifying and responding to workplace substance abuse helps employees who are trying to recover from addiction and provides a safer workplace for employees and customers.
Federal laws with provisions pertaining to workplace substance abuse are the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the HIPAA Medical Privacy Rule. Laws pertaining to substance abuse are Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act for safety-sensitive transportation employees and the Drug Free Workplace Act for federal contractors. State and local statutes may limit or prohibit workplace testing.
Warning signs of substance abuse include changes in an employee’s personal appearance and declining dependability, quality of work, attitude, and judgment.
Important components or our substance abuse include prohibitions, disciplinary action for violations, and counseling services through our EAP.
Supervisor responsibilities include communicating our policy, tracking employee work performance, documenting and discussing changes with employees, discussing any suspicions of substance abuse with HR, assisting with disciplinary action, and following up with a referral to the Employee Assistance Plan.
Please be sure to complete and leave the evaluation sheet you received with your handouts.
Thank you for your attention and interest!