Workplace education is essential! It is important for employers to regularly promote the policy and program of their drug free workplace so that all employees are fully aware of its provisions and understand the importance of worker safety and health. Like other company safety policies, the drug free workplace program should be reinforced through an annual review that is worth the investment.
The education should be directly provided by the employer and would be applicable to all workers regardless of their role in the company. It should include but is not limited to the following program related questions and topics:
- Why the company has a drug free workplace?
- What is the company’s drug free workplace policy? (distribute copies of the written policy)
- What behaviors are prohibited by the policy?
- What are the consequences for policy violations?
- What are the testing protocols? (who is tested, when they may be tested, what will they be tested for, etc.)
- What is a reasonable suspicion of substance use and how is the process is documented and managed?
- What resources and support are available for employees seeking help for themselves or a family member? (such as through an Employee Assistance Program)
- What steps should an employee take to confidentially self-refer themselves for assistance?
- How can the company support employees in recovery from substance use disorders and how do employees access that support? (Every company likely has workers who are in recovery)
- What are the employee and supervisor roles in supporting the workplace program?
- What are the effects of the common drugs of abuse and alcohol? (An overview should include how substances affect the body, behavior, and performance.) Note that this topic should include drugs that may be legal in your state or area but may still be impairing such as medical marijuana, CBD, Delta-8/10, Bath Salts, K-2, Spice, Kratom, or other psychoactive herbal or chemical products.
- What employer benefits are available to support employees’ well-being and healthy lifestyle?
Employers should ensure that all employees receive the education when hired and annually thereafter. Also, additional program such as substance use treatment and mental health counseling providers and workplace benefits reminders should made available throughout the year. Workplace education is essential!