Cost Effective Ways Of Helping Employees Needing Substance Abuse Treatment

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Employers now have free access to a series of 14 two-page briefs outlining the benefits (including financial) of helping their employees receive treatment for substance abuse. The 14 briefs were developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

"Surveys have shown that 76 percent of people with drug or alcohol problems are employed and that their problems can have an enormous impact on productivity," said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick. "Our goal is to educate employers about cost effective measures that can be taken to identify employees with substance abuse problems and help return them to full health and productivity."

The briefs discuss a variety of workplace related topics including:

* The full effects of substance abuse in the workplace – including to morale, productivity, safety and finances.

* Why it is worthwhile to promote treatment for employees with substance abuse problems

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* How Employee Assistance Programs can be cost effective

* Substance abuse's effects among younger and older employees

* How substance abuse screening works, and its benefits to everyone in the workplace

* Cost effective ways that employers can support workers recovering from substance abuse

"These timely materials show that substance abuse treatment benefits under employee health plans can actually save them money while boosting employees' health and productivity" said SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Director Dr. H. Westley Clark. "This can help employers make informed decisions while they are considering changes related to the Wellstone/Domenici Mental Health and Addictions Parity Act of 2008."

The briefs are based on findings from SAMHSA's Drug-Free Workplace Program as well as research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Business Group on Health, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and other organizations.

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