Employee Drug-Free Workplace Education

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1 Employee Drug-Free Workplace Education South Carolina State University Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace Provided by the Office of Professional Development & Training SC State University

2 Employee Education Outline Objectives of training Overview of Drug-Free Workplace Policy Impact of substance abuse in the workplace Ways that people use alcohol and other drugs Understanding addiction Signs and symptoms of substance abuse Family and coworker impact Assistance Confidentiality Specific drugs of abuse 2

3 Objectives of Training Employees should be familiar with the Drug-Free Workplace Policy and aware of the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. Employees should understand: The requirements of the policy The prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse and its impact on the workplace How to recognize the link between poor performance and alcohol and/or drug abuse The progression of the disease of addiction What types of assistance may be available 3

4 Overview of Drug-Free Workplace Policy The Drug-Free Workplace Policy accomplishes two major things: Sends a clear message that alcohol and drug use in the workplace is prohibited Encourages employees who have problems with alcohol and other drugs to voluntarily seek help 4

5 The Drug-Free Workplace Policy exists to: Protect the health and safety of all employees, customers and the public Safeguard employer assets from theft and destruction Maintain quality customer service and university integrity and reputation Comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 or any other applicable laws 5

6 The Drug-Free Workplace Policy answers the following questions: What is the purpose of the policy and program? Who is covered by the policy? When does the policy apply? What behavior is prohibited? Are employees required to notify supervisors of drug-related convictions? 6

7 What are the consequences for violating the policy? What type of assistance is available to employees needing help? How is employee confidentiality protected? Who is responsible for enforcing the policy? How is the policy communicated to employees? 7

8 Employee health People who abuse alcohol or other drugs tend to neglect nutrition, sleep and other basic health needs. Substance abuse depresses the immune system. Its impact on the workplace includes higher use of health benefits; increased use of sick time and higher absenteeism and tardiness. 8

9 Productivity Employees who are substance abusers can be physically and mentally impaired while on the job. Substance abuse interferes with job satisfaction and the motivation to do a good job. It s impact on the workplace includes reduced output; increased errors; lower quality of work and reduced customer satisfaction. 9

10 Decision making Individuals/employees who abuse alcohol and/or other drugs often make poor decisions and have a distorted perception of their ability. Substance abuse s impact on the workplace includes reduced innovation; reduced creativity; less competitiveness; and poor decisions, both daily and strategic. 10

11 Safety Common effects of substance abuse include impaired vision, hearing and muscle coordination and low levels of attention, alertness and mental acuity. Its impact on the workplace includes increased accidents; and more workers compensation claims. Employee morale The presence of an employee with drug and/or alcohol problems creates a strain on relationships between coworkers. Organizations that appear to condone substance abuse create the impression that they don t care. Impact on the workplace includes higher turnover; lower quality; and reduced team effort. 11

12 Security Employees with drug and/or alcohol problems often have financial difficulties, and employees who use illegal drugs may be engaging in illegal activities in the workplace. Subsequently, substance abuse s impact on the workplace can include theft and law enforcement involvement. 12

13 Finally, substance abuse impacts: Organizational Image and Community Relations Accidents, lawsuits and other incidents stemming from employee substance abuse problems may receive media attention and hurt the University s reputation in the community. The impact on the workplace includes reduced trust and confidence; and reduced ability to attract high-quality students/employees. 13

14 Ways People Use Alcohol and Other Drugs Use: Experimentation Social/Recreational As a stress reliever 14

15 Abuse: Using a substance to modify or control mood or state of mind in a manner that is illegal or harmful to oneself or others. Potential consequences of abuse include: Accidents or injuries Blackouts Legal problems Poor job performance Family problems Sexual behavior that increases the risk of HIV infection 15

16 Addiction: The irresistible compulsion to use alcohol and other drugs despite adverse consequences. It is characterized by repeated failures to control use, increased tolerance and increased disruption in the family. 16

17 Understanding Addiction For one in ten people, abuse leads to addiction. Addiction to alcohol and other drugs is: Chronic Progressive Primary Terminal Characterized by denial 17

18 Risk of addiction: Addiction is a family disease Prior abuse of alcohol and other drugs Other contributing factors as part of a self-destructive lifestyle to seek relief from depression or crisis in their lives 18

19 Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse Abuse of alcohol and other drugs affects people: Emotionally Behaviorally Physically 19

20 Emotional effects of substance abuse: Aggression Burnout Anxiety Depression Paranoia Denial 20

21 Behavioral effects of substance abuse: Slow reaction time Impaired coordination Slowed or slurred speech Irritability Excessive talking Inability to sit still Limited attention span Poor motivation or lack of energy 21

22 Physical effects of substance abuse: Weight loss Sweating Chills Smell of alcohol 22

23 Family and Coworker Impact Enabling: Action that someone takes to protect the person with the problem from the consequences of his or her actions. Unfortunately, enabling actually helps the person to NOT deal with his or her problem. 23

24 Examples of enabling: Covering Up making excuses rather than confronting the issue Rationalizing - developing reasons why the person s continued substance abuse is understandable or acceptable Withdrawing/Avoiding - avoid the person Blaming yourself/getting angry at the individual for not trying hard enough to control his/her use Controlling take responsibility by throwing out his/her drugs Threatening - saying you will take action, but not follow through. 24

25 Examples of traps family members and coworkers may fall into: Sympathy Excuses Apology Diversions Innocence Anger Pity Tears 25

26 Things to remember: Assistance Difficulty performing on the job can sometimes be caused by unrecognized personal problems - including addiction to alcohol and other drugs Help is available Although a supervisor may suspect that an employee s performance is poor because of personal problems, it is up to the employee to decide whether or not that is the case (cont.) 26

27 It is an employee s responsibility to decide whether or not to seek help Addiction is treatable and reversible An employee s decision to seek help is a private one and will not be made public 27

28 Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services are available to SCSU employees: An EAP can help employees decide what to do if they have a problem with alcohol or other drugs An EAP also can help an employee decide what to do if someone in his/her family or workgroup has a problem Conversations with an EAP are confidential 28

29 Confidentiality Confidentially is a core principle of EAP Problems will not be made public Conversations with an EAP professional - or other referral agent - are private and will be protected All information related to performance issues will be maintained in his/her personnel file Information about referral to treatment, however, will be kept separately 29

30 Information about treatment for addiction or mental illness is not a matter of public record and cannot be shared without a signed release from the employee If an employee chooses to tell coworkers about his/her private concerns, that is his/her decision When an employee tells his/her supervisor something in confidence, supervisors are obligated to protect that disclosure 30

31 If EAP services are available, employees are also assured that: EAP records are separate from personnel records and can be accessed only with a signed release from the employee EAP professionals are bound by a code of ethics to protect the confidentiality of the employees and family members that they serve There are clear limits on when and what information an EAP professional can share and with whom 31

32 However, there are some limits on confidentiality that may require: Disclosure of child abuse, elder abuse and serious threats of homicide or suicide as dictated by state law Reporting participation in an EAP to the referring supervisor Verifying medical information to authorize release time or satisfy fitness to return to work Revealing medical information to the insurance company in order to qualify for coverage under a benefits plan 32

33 Specific Drugs of Abuse Alcohol Marijuana Inhalants Cocaine Stimulants Depressants Hallucinogens Narcotics Designer Drugs 33

34 Finally All drugs, including alcohol, chemically alter the mind and body. As a result, use of drugs and/or alcohol can impair motor skills, hinder judgment, distort perception, decrease reaction time and interfere with other skills necessary to perform a job safely and efficiently 34

35 A Safer, Drug-Free Workplace Recognize the impact of alcohol and drug abuse on the workplace Understand and follow the Drug-Free Workplace Policy Remember the types of assistance available, and employees may contact the Human Resource Office for additional information or assistance 35

36 Additional Information Additional information on drug-free workplaces is available on the U.S. Department of Labor s Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace program Web site. 36

37 Employee Drug-Free Workplace Education ~ END OF COURSE ~ Provided by the Office of Professional Development & Training SC State University

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