New Drug-Free Workplace Kit Available from SAMHSA

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said April 28 its new Drug-Free Workplace Kit is suitable for all sizes of workplaces and will be help employers combat the scourge of drug use. The kit is available at no cost.

"Almost 75 percent of current illicit drug users and 79 percent of heavy drinkers aged 18 or older are employed," said SAMHSA Administrator Terry L. Cline, Ph.D. "We want to help employers understand there are some very simple steps they can take to prevent these problems and assist employees in need of help. This kit is good for their businesses and good for the health and safety of their employees."

The health- and wellness-focused kit explains what employers should do to protect and prepare the workplace, identify substance abuse related-issues, and provide prevention education and assistance to employees. It discusses the importance of understanding the legal aspects of the problem as well as how to build a team, assess the workplace, develop a policy, and plan and implement a program to address substance use. It also provides guidance on setting up systems for evaluating the program's effectiveness.

"This kit is based on tested, practical strategies," said Cline. "It provides guidance on establishing and maintaining a drug-free workplace that promotes wellness, safety, and productivity." The kit was developed using experiences from large and small employers, practitioners, researchers, and evaluators in the field, and it includes approaches that are listed in SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. "Results from workplace drug tests nationwide indicate that significant progress is being made in reducing drug use among the American workforce," said White House drug czar John P. Walters, director of National Drug Control Policy. "But there is still much to be done. Substance abuse is costly and dangerous for American businesses, employees, and consumers, costing businesses estimated billions of dollars a year. Employers of all sizes should take advantage of the multiple opportunities and resources, like this kit, to educate their workforce on the negative consequences of substance abuse."

The kit has nine pullout brochures, 13 fact sheets, a bumper sticker, and two 18-by-24-inch posters for display in workplaces. To order up to five printed copies, call 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727). To download the online version, go to www.workplace.samhsa.gov/WPWorkit/index.html.

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