State Launches Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative

02.07.2022
HR & Safety

Three state agencies have launched a program encouraging employers to help employees struggling with substance use disorders.

The departments of Labor, Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Public Health created the Recovery Friendly Initiative to provide a road map to create an environment that reduces the stigma related to substance use disorders and encourages employees to engage in recovery efforts.

A 2015 national survey on drug use and health found 75% of adults between 18 and 64 years old with a substance abuse disorder were active in the workforce and struggling on the job.

Three years later, a survey conducted by the National Safety Council found 86% of employers were concerned prescription opioid use was having a negative impact on their workplace.

“Often when an employee is struggling with a substance use disorder, it is not visible to employers or coworkers,” agency leaders said.

“In addition to the harm it causes individuals and their families, the impact of substance use disorders includes millions of dollars in lost productivity each year.”

The initiative has nine steps:

  • Do an internal investment
  • Build a consensus
  • Make a declaration
  • Mobilize state and local resources
  • Designate a peer champion
  • Make resources available
  • Train and educate 
  • Do an annual assessment
  • Keep going 

Working with the Regional Behavioral Health Action Organization, employers can receive a certification that their workplace is recovery friendly.

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