The National Drug Free Workplace Alliance has shared a new resource on reducing stigma of substance use recovery in workplaces.
Workplaces provide an important role in helping employees battling against substance use disorders. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), “Employment provides economic stability, a meaningful social role, and often direct access to treatment and recovery services.” Here are some considerations for employers to reduce stigma in the work environment:
• Educate supervisors and employees to understand the condition of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and eliminating the prejudice of stigma.
• Utilize an Employee Assistance Program to support all workers’ health and wellness.
• Ensure health insurance benefits are available that offers treatment for substance use disorders and mental health.
• Implement wellness policies to build understanding and support employees dealing with substance use disorders.
• Utilize person-first language in the workplace to accurately reflect the condition e.g. “person with a substance use disorder” to respect the dignity of those with this or any disease.
• Offer accommodations for persons who are actively pursuing treatment and recovery.
• Ensure that substance use policies are evidence-based.