Workplace Substance Abuse Issues: New Training in the Works!

When you think of substance abuse, what kind of drugs come to mind? Many people think of street drugs, but the truth is that prescription medications are frequently abused too. In fact, the US Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that 6.5 million Americans abuse prescription drugs—more than twice the number of Americans who use heroin, cocaine, LSD, and Ecstasy combined. 

When it comes to workplace substance abuse, no matter what kind of impairing substance an employee is affected by—whether it's alcohol, street drugs, prescription medications, or something else—there's a higher risk for accidents, decreased productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism, increased family or social problems, stigmatization and discrimination, deteriorating physical or mental health, pain, distress, and disability. It's also costly. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse estimates that the use of alcohol and other drugs and substances in Canada is a $40 billion-a-year problem for businesses and for society.

Substance abuse can also have an adverse effect on the health of both internal and external customers in an organisation. It affects safety through a false sense of confidence, poor concentration and judgment, impaired vision and hearing, drowsiness, slowed reaction time, and impaired coordination and reflexes.

For these reasons and more, I'm pleased to announce that we have begun developing a new Topic Module for Prepare Training® Certified Instructors to help you address this important workplace issue. This training can help you maintain an atmosphere of Respect, Service, and Safety at Work®. [February 2015 update: Certified Instructors, this Topic Module is now available.]

While you should not be expected to diagnose or provide counseling relevant to substance abuse problems, training can help ensure that all staff understand your company’s drug-free workplace policy, as well as their role in supporting your organization’s policies and procedures. Supervisors should also know how to identify and attempt to address employee performance problems, and they should understand how to refer employees for available assistance. We're designing our forthcoming Topic Module to help your staff meet these goals and:
  • Identify your organization’s policies and procedures on substance abuse.
  • Describe the prevalence, progression, and dangers of substance abuse.
  • Recognize and address workplace problems that may be related to impairing substances.
  • Respect and protect workplace confidentiality.
  • Intervene in problem situations that may escalate to crisis.
  • Refer individuals who may be experiencing a substance abuse problem to appropriate resources.
  • Continue a constructive working relationship with an individual who has been referred for help.
The Workplace Substance Abuse Topic Module may also assist your organization in complying with some of the specific training requirements under applicable Drug Free Workplace standards or laws within specific jurisdictions. It's the responsibility of your organization to make this determination.

This unique training program is intended to help your organization, whether you:
  • Need to meet specific employee education requirements under various Drug-Free Workplace laws.
  • Need to meet specific supervisor training requirements under various Drug-Free Workplace laws.
  • Do not need to meet specific employee education or supervisor training requirements under any Drug-Free Workplace laws but instead choose to teach this Topic Module for employee knowledge and enrichment.
Upon its release, this Topic Module may be taught in conjunction with the Prepare Training® Foundation Course, other Topic Modules, and Specialized Training Segments.

Keep an eye here on our website for updates and news about when this dynamic Topic Module will be released! In the meantime, feel free to give us a call at 800.787.5166 or email with any questions.

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