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Is Your Drug Abuse Prevention Program Effective?

Is Your Drug Abuse Prevention Program Effective?

March 24, 2008

Employer programs for drug abuse prevention have three major goals. First, to keep drug abusers out of the work force by screening job applicants. Second, to deter employees from developing a drug abuse problem. And finally, to rehabilitate employees who have a drug abuse problem.

However, employers should keep in mind that this last goal – rehabilitation – is the ultimate and most humane purpose of a drug abuse prevention program. Employers should also recognize that no testing at all is highly preferable to inaccurate testing.

If you are considering establishing a drug abuse prevention program or need to evaluate a program in place, here are six key elements a successful drug abuse prevention program should include.

Commitment: It is essential that top management on an organization-wide basis understand how comprehensive a drug abuse prevention program must be, and commit to that level of involvement.

Analysis & Development: Thoroughness is necessary. Analyze personnel, productivity, safety and health records to see if your company has a problem significant enough to warrent a corporate program. If so, start by developing a full, comprehensive, written company policy that includes whether drug testing will be performed and what disciplinary actions are anticipated.

Education & Training: Training of supervisors and managers is critical – particularly regarding how they should react to a workplace drug incident. You will also need to “sell” your drug abuse prevention program to your employees.

Drug Testing: If your program includes testing, you must commit the necessary resources to ensure that you have a professional drug testing program that eliminates inaccuracies, misidentifications or unconfirmed tests.

Disciplinary Action: Consistency is the key. Do not selectively enforce your program. And be prepared to make the same response for all employees, irrespective of their seniority and their value to the organization.

Rehabilitation: Employee assistance programs (EAP’s) best serve the ultimate goal of rehabilitation. EAP’s generally include counseling, medical monitoring, treatment, retesting, and family support and reinforcement. They can be effective, cost-effective, and good for employee morale.

Information courtesy of Labor and Employment Law Blog


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