1. Describe the effect of illegal or prescription drug and alcohol use in the workplace. How does this affect productivity?
Today in the United States, 73% of drug users are employed, costing American businesses billions of dollars annually in lost productivity and health care costs. Studies reveal that employees who abuse drugs have a tremendously harmful effect on the workplace—they are more likely to have extended absences from work, show up late, be involved in workplace accidents, and file workers’ compensation claims.
2. Describe the key steps to developing a workplace substance abuse program.
A comprehensive program generally includes five components: (1) Develop a drug-free workplace policy (2) Supervisor training (3) An employee education program (4) An employee assistance program (5) Drug testing. Although employers may choose not to include all five components, it is recommended that all be explored and considered when developing a drug-free workplace program. Research does show a positive relationship between the number of components included and a program’s overall effectiveness.
3. Explain the importance of having a written substance abuse policy. Identify some of the information that could be included in a written policy.
A written drug-free workplace policy is the foundation of an organization’s drug-free workplace program. Every organization’s written policy should be unique and tailored to meet its specific needs; however, all effective policies have a few aspects in common. First, a written policy should clearly state why the policy or drug-free workplace program is being implemented. Second, include a clear description of behaviors that are prohibited. At minimum, this should include a statement that the “use, possession, transfer or sale of illegal drugs or controlled substances by employees is prohibited.” Third, include a thorough explanation of
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