In 2011, 9.8 million adults who were employed full time had a substance use problem.1 Most employers offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) or other workplace resources to help employees with various problems including alcohol and drug abuse.2 These programs can encourage employees to seek treatment, refer employees to treatment, and provide ongoing support during and after treatment.
According to the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), in 2011, employment status was reported for more than 1.6 million substance abuse treatment admissions aged 18 or older. Of these, 15.4 percent (about 256,000 admissions) were employed full time (Figure 1). Among full-time employed admissions, 2.4 percent were referred to treatment by employers or EAPs (Figure 2).
|Employment Status||Admissions Percentage|
|Employed Full Time||15.4%|
|Employed Part Time||7.5%|
|Not in Labor Force||35.4%|
|Note: The percentages may not sum to 100 percent due to rounding.|
|Referral Source||Admissions Percentage|
|Criminal Justice System||49.2%|
|Other Community Referral*||9.6%|
|Alcohol/Drug Abuse Care Provider||5.7%|
|Other Health Care Provider||4.7%|
|Employer/Employee Assistance Program||2.4%|
|* Other community referral includes referrals from schools, community or religious organizations, or any federal, state, or local agency that provides aid in the areas of poverty relief, unemployment, shelter, or social welfare.
Note: The percentages may not sum to 100 percent due to rounding.
To help employees who may have substance abuse problems take advantage of EAP services, employers can build awareness of these services, share information about how these programs can improve health and well-being, and continue to reassure employees that their EAP use is confidential.3 For more information, including tips for building links between employers and the treatment system, please see Making Your Workplace Drug-Free: A Kit for Employers (https://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA07-4230/SMA07-4230.pdf).