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  Drug-Free Work Week:  Oct 14-20th
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October 14-20th is designated by the US Department of Labor as Drug-Free Work Week, and employers and workers across the country are encouraged to participate. The purpose of Drug-Free Work Week is to educate employers, employees and the general public about the importance of being drug-free as a component of improving workplace safety and health and to encourage workers with alcohol and drug problems to seek help.

The U.S. Department of Labor is promoting Drug-Free Work Week through a collaborative effort with the 13 members of its Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, a cooperative program focused on improving worker safety and health in the construction industry through drug-free workplace programs. In addition, employers and employees across all industries are encouraged to take part. The activities listed below represent ways to build safer, healthier workplaces through substance abuse prevention and intervention, and most can be implemented at any time during the year.

Implement a Drug-Free Workplace Program Drug-Free Work Week is the perfect time to launch a Drug-Free Workplace Program if your organization does not already have one. Such programs are natural complements to other initiatives that help protect worker safety and health. To learn more about them, contact American Drug Testing at 843-747-4111.

Promote your Drug-Free Workplace Program – If your organization already has a Drug-Free Workplace Program, Drug-Free Work Week is a logical time to ensure the program is adequate to meet current needs and to remind employees about its important role in keeping them safe while on the job. One way to do this is to distribute to all employees a copy of your drug-free workplace policy, along with a positive message about valuing health and safety, and then provide an opportunity for them to ask questions about it, perhaps through an open forum or privately. 

Train supervisors - Supervisors are the individuals closest to an organization’s workforce. As part of Drug-Free Work Week, organizations can conduct training to ensure supervisors understand their organization's policy on alcohol and drug use; ways to deal with workers who have performance problems that may be related to substance abuse; and how to refer employees to available assistance (American Drug Testing offers low-cost online training programs). 

Educate workers - To achieve a drug-free workplace, it is critical that an organization educate its workers about the nature of alcohol and drug use and its negative impact on workplace safety and productivity. Drug-Free Work Week is a natural time to step up such efforts through training sessions, guest speakers or brown-bag lunches.  If employee education is already a regular activity, a Drug-Free Work Week program could be offered on a specific timely topic such as the abuse of prescription drugs or methamphetamine (contact American Drug Testing for free training materials). 

Remind employees about the availability of EAP or MAP services - If your organization has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or Member Assistance Program (MAP), Drug-Free Work Week presents a perfect opportunity to remind them of its availability. Such programs offer free, confidential services to help all employees, including supervisors, resolve personal and workplace problems, such as substance abuse. They also offer confidential substance abuse screenings as well as brief intervention, if warranted, and help employees locate local treatment resources.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

For additional tips, see the “client area” at or all 843-747-4111.

Offer health screening - Organizations can use Drug-Free Work Week to encourage employees to assess their own use of alcohol and other drugs and privately determine if they need help to change their behavior. For example, organizations can inform employees about the confidential, self-administered online screening tool Alcohol and make sure all employees have access to the Internet in a private location in case they want to use it. Availability of confidential substance abuse screenings by qualified professionals could also be publicized and offered by the EAP health unit, and/or occupational nurse. 

· Publicize available community treatment resources - Whether or not an organization has an onsite EAP or health unit, help for substance abuse problems is likely available nearby through a hospital, local health department or stand-alone Substance Abuse Treatment Center. Furthermore, self-help programs, such as the 12-step programs of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon, are free and available in communities nationwide. Drug-Free Work Week is a great time to remind employees about community resources that can be helpful for a person struggling with a substance abuse problem or those who are close to him or her. 

· Review your health insurance policy - Coverage for substance abuse treatment makes it more likely that employees struggling with alcohol and drug problems will seek help proactively. Review your health insurance policy to see if substance abuse treatment is covered, and if it is not, consider discussing the prospect of adding coverage with whoever handles your organization's health benefits. 

· Allow employees time to volunteer in community drug prevention efforts - Drug-Free Work Week offers the chance to show commitment to substance abuse prevention both inside and outside the workplace. One way to promote an organization's dedication is to grant employees time off to volunteer to assist with efforts to prevent substance abuse in the larger community or organize a team of volunteers to support a local prevention initiative. Such efforts often are coordinated by schools, faith-based organizations and community anti-drug coalitions

· Create a Drug-Free Workplace Display - Drug-Free Work Week is a great time to freshen up bulletin boards in break areas or other locations that employees frequent by posting positive messages about the importance of being drug-free to their safety and that of their coworkers. Start by putting up the DOL Working Partner's poster which is fitting for virtually all industries and work environments. Additional display materials could include a copy of the company's drug-free workplace policy, a list of local and national helplines for employees who may have a problem with alcohol or drugs, and EAP contact information, if applicable. 

· Feature Drug-Free Work Week in the employee newsletter or Intranet - Drug-Free Work Week offers timely and fresh content for an employee newsletter or internal Web site. Articles could be on a range of topics, including general information about substance abuse and its impact in the workplace environment; sources of help for workers with substance abuse problems; and actions workers can take if they think a colleague may have a substance abuse problem. An easy way to do this is to reproduce one or more "drop-in" articles available. 

· Distribute a payroll message listing helplines or a reminder about Drug-Free Work Week for employees - Paychecks are one thing that every employee pays attention to! Provide additional value during Drug-Free Work Week by including a leaflet or message listing sources of help for those with substance abuse problems or a simple reminder that it is Drug-Free Work Week and a good time to re-commit to working drug-free. An easy way to do this is to print and reproduce a ready-to-use payroll message

· Hold a social event celebrating safety and health - A social event with plenty of food, fun and non-alcoholic drinks can help reinforce the importance of being drug free to working safely and remind workers that alcohol is not necessary to unwind and relax. The theme for such an event could be one of general health and wellness, with door prizes such as gift certificates for local health clubs or recreational activities. Working Partners provides a number of tips on how to create alcohol-free workplace parties.

For more ideas on how to recognize Drug-Free Work Week, employers and workers may want to contact various national or state substance abuse prevention organizations or their local community anti-drug coalition.

For more ideas on how to recognize Drug-Free Work Week, employers and workers may want to contact various national or state substance abuse prevention organizations or their local community anti-drug coalition.)

Call us at 843-747-4111 or email us.


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