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SAMHSA News - March/April 2008, Volume 16, Number 2

Making Workplaces Drug-Free

Data show that the majority of Americans who use illicit drugs or abuse alcohol are employed full time (see SAMHSA News online, September/October 2007).

To help employers establish a drug-free workplace, SAMHSA’s Division of Workplace Programs recently released a new resource—Making Your Workplace Drug-Free: A Kit for Employers.

In an expandable 3-ring binder, the kit can be tailored for public and private workplaces of all sizes.

What’s in the Kit

The kit contains 9 brochures, 13 fact sheets, a bumper sticker that reads, “Welcome to a Drug-Free Workplace,” and 2 large posters for display. The fact sheets cover prevention resources, building awareness, principles of successful programs, and information about drug testing.

SAMHSA’s kit offers extensive guidance through the process.

  • Understand the legal requirements. Federal, state, and local statutes and regulations should be taken into account when developing a drug-free workplace policy. The kit provides background materials and resources to assist employers.

  • Build a team. Cooperation, collaboration, and shared responsibility are the cornerstones of a successful drug-free workplace program. Team members frequently include representatives from management, human resources, security, and the general workforce population.

  • Assess your workplace. Employers should examine what substance abuse issues their workplace faces. Employers can identify resources and strengths, examine policy and program options, and take the best steps to prevent and reduce alcohol- and other drug-related problems.

  • Develop a policy. A drug-free workplace program includes a written policy available to all employees. The kit offers key elements for a policy, including information on laws and regulations.

  • Plan and execute a program. Steps are listed to help employers build a customized program. They include identifying resources and selecting an employee assistance program, a health/wellness program, a drug-testing plan, employee education, and/or supervisor training.

  • Evaluate the program. Most employers want to know the success of their efforts. The kit provides well-established tools and guidance to evaluate drug-free workplace programs that allow for process, outcome- and cost-related findings.

The kit was developed using the most accepted evaluation tools and methods from researchers and employers in the field—including those from SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.

To order Making Your Workplace Drug-Free: A Kit for Employers, contact SAMHSA’s Health Information Network at 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD). Request inventory number SMA07-4230.

For more information, visit SAMHSA’s Web site at

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