Your drug-free workplace initiative can be an invaluable tool in efforts to strengthen and protect your business and your employees from the hazards of alcohol and other drug misuse.

These six steps will help you build a customized program:

  1. Assess your workplace and its needs related to substance use.
  2. Identify available resources.
  3. Develop a written policy for your drug-free workplace.
  4. Determine whether to have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
  5. Determine whether to do drug testing.
  6. Plan to provide education and training for your employees and additional training for supervisors and other appropriate staff.

Assess Your Workplace Needs

Many drug-free workplace needs are best addressed within a health and wellness atmosphere, rather than a more punitive program. Learn more about how to assess your workplace to develop an appropriate policy for your organization.

Identify Available Resources

Types of resources you might inventory as part of your planning process include:

  • An existing drug-free workplace policy
  • An existing drug-testing program
  • Human resources staff
  • A health promotion or health and wellness program already in place
  • An EAP already in place

Develop a Drug-Free Workplace Policy

A written drug-free workplace policy is the cornerstone of an effective program. Learn more about how to develop a policy.

Determine Whether To Have an EAP

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are programs sponsored by your business or organization—or by a union—to serve employees and their families. EAPs range from addressing only problems related to alcohol and other drug use to covering a broad range of issues. Some programs also include health and wellness activities.

All organizations should seriously consider adding the services of an internal, external, or blended EAP of both internal and external supports. Small businesses might be able to obtain EAP services through their insurance carriers or by joining a consortium of small businesses to get cost-effective rates. The need for an EAP is even greater if a high proportion of your employees are also at risk for social and emotional problems.

Determine Whether To Include Drug Testing

Drug testing is an organizational protective factor that can deter employees from coming to work unfit for duty. The first consideration regarding drug testing is to determine whether it is required for some or all of your employees. You may decide to have a drug-testing program:

  • To comply with federal regulations
  • To comply with customer or contract requirements
  • To comply with insurance carrier requirements
  • To reinforce the organization’s “no drug use” position
  • To identify employees with substance use disorders and refer them for assistance
  • To establish grounds for discipline or firing
  • To improve safety
  • To deter recreational drug use that could lead to addiction
  • To reduce the costs of alcohol and other drug misuse in the workplace