September is nationally recognized as National Alcohol and Drug Recovery Month, sponsored by SAMHSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This national observance and movement began in 1989 and aims to increase public awareness surrounding mental health and addiction recovery. The goal is to promote new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, support the nation’s recovery community, and show recognition to the dedicated service providers who make all the many forms of recovery possible. During this month, SAMHSA collaborates with both private and public entities to celebrate milestones and individuals during their long-term recoveries. 

To address the nation’s growing crisis of substance misuse and overdose deaths, SAMHSA urges companies and employers to put in place comprehensive drug-free workplace programs that address illicit drug use by employees. This is an important step in the right direction for businesses as over 66% of the adults who misuse opioids are employed as reported by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. This means that workplaces are a key setting to reach both employees and their families. To get started, SAMHSA has put together an interactive guide for employers to identify and prevent opioid and other substance misuse in the workplace. There are materials for self-education, how to teach others to recognize the signs and symptoms of opioid and other substance misuse in the workplace, guidance for preventing misuse, and many other resources to explore to help any employer whether they have a small or large workforce.

Substance abuse affects everyone, not just the misuser. It often causes emotional strain on friends, families, and coworkers. This often leads to a strain on relationships and a lack of productivity for many in the workplace. Aside from a loss in efficiency, employee substance misuse is costly to businesses and their health plans where over 30% have modified their company health plan to restrict opioid prescriptions. Additionally, 21% of companies have introduced new programs to manage opioid prescriptions that work to increase the health and safety of their employees and thus improve overall performance.

These steps are just the beginning when it comes to combatting the growing substance abusee epidemic in the US. To learn more about National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month and how you can participate, visit: https://www.samhsa.gov/recovery-month.     

DII is your partner in safety and health in the workplace. Whether that workplace is big or small, our team of experts can work with you to understand the best way to talk about drug safety and opioid misuse with you workers. Please contact your DII representative for more information.  #DrugSafety #NationalAlcohol&DrugAddictionRecoveryMonth

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