Be sure to communicate the value the organization places on the personal health of employees, their families, and their communities. An employee education program should clearly communicate the hazards of substance use and the benefits of avoiding substance use. At a minimum, the employee education component should also:
- Provide materials on the risks associated with misusing alcohol, prescription drugs, and other drugs
- Inform employees on how to avoid substance use problems
- Provide general health promotion information on topics such as stress management, healthful eating, and fitness
As resources permit, organizations should select one of several evidence-based substance misuse prevention programs that present materials in the context of broader health and safety issues.
Supervisors have additional responsibilities for implementing and maintaining the drug-free workplace policy and program. Learn more about supervisor training.
Prevention Education and Health Promotion
Health and wellness topics such as stress management, nutrition and weight management, physical activity and exercise, and pain management are great opportunities to provide educational materials and other information on substance misuse prevention. The training topics can be tailored to the needs and interests of your specific workplace.
Stress management: Relying on alcohol or drugs to deal with problems and emotions can often create more problems. Identify social and emotional rewards that people seek from drugs, including alcohol and prescriptions, then identify healthful alternatives to relieve stress and meet other social and emotional needs. Stories from people who have embraced healthier alternatives and are reaping the rewards can motivate participants toward behavior change. Modeling opportunities that promote the use of healthful alternatives and the avoidance of substance misuse can build self-efficacy and teach skills.
Pain management: Pain is a common reason people seek medical treatment. Opioid pain relievers are among the most prescribed drugs in the United States. These drugs have a high potential for misuse, which has led to many overdose deaths and injuries. You may wish to consider alternative therapies for pain treatment when designing and reviewing employer-sponsored health care coverage.
Nutrition, weight management, and exercise: These health promotion topics can be used to raise awareness about the tendency of certain drugs, including alcohol, to lower inhibitions and lessen the effectiveness of dietary and exercise plans. Testimonials from individuals who have changed their behaviors within the context of their weight management, nutrition, or exercise plans can help motivate other employees.