SAMHSA Announces Availability of New Drug-Free Workplace Kit

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently developed a Drug-Free Workplace Kit, suitable for all sizes of workplaces. The free kit provides public and private workplaces with practical evidence-based information, resources, and tools for producing and maintaining drug-free workplace policies and programs.

"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 addresses these problems by explaining to employers what to do in order 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 illicit substance use and abuse in their workplaces and workforces. The kit also provides guidance on setting up systems for evaluating the program's effectiveness.

"This kit is based on tested, practical strategies," Cline said. "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 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 (ONDCP). "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 18x24-inch posters for display in workplaces. The kit's major sections are:

  • Components of a Drug-Free Workplace
  • How to Assess Your Organization's Needs
  • How to Develop a Drug-Free Workplace Policy
  • Educating Your Employees
  • Training Your Supervisors
  • Creating an Employee Assistance Program
  • Drug Testing in the Workplace
  • Workplace Substance Abuse Prevention Resources and References
  • An Implementation Guide

The kit is free and available in print and online versions. To order up to five printed copies, call 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727). To access and download the online version of the kit, go to http://www.workplace.samhsa.gov/WPWorkit/index.html. For guidance about implementing and adapting the workplace programs, call 1-800-Workplace (1-800-967-5752), or email helpline@samhsa.hhs.gov.

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