The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) issued Thursday its Recovery Ready Workplace Toolkit. Aimed at providing guidance and resources for employers across private and public sectors, the toolkit is designed to help employers prevent and respond more effectively to substance use among employees, build their workforces through hiring of people in recovery and develop a recovery-supportive workplace culture.
With the majority – 61% – of adults with a substance use disorder (SUD) in the workforce, the National Safety Council is encouraged by the release of this toolkit, as employers are uniquely positioned to make a difference by supporting employees into treatment and recovery.
Analysis shows there are clear benefits to supporting worker health and wellbeing and those in recovery: Workers in recovery miss almost 14 fewer days each year than workers with an untreated substance use disorder and miss the fewest days overall, with 3.6 less days than the average employee.
Workers who are actively in recovery help employers avoid $8,175 in turnover, replacement and healthcare costs. NSC believes workplaces should have recovery-ready policies to both prevent overdose and substance use disorders as well as support workers with an SUD and/or who have experienced an overdose in ways such as return-to-work policies, “fair chance” policies, health care coverage of substance use and mental health treatment, employee assistance programs, and education and training about substance use. These policies benefit workers without SUDs too.
ONDCP also released model legislation to support the establishment of recovery ready workplaces. Having policies in place to outline and support clear steps businesses can take are also key to aiding more workplaces in taking this step. NSC provides resources to help businesses create recovery ready policies.
Through its newly launched Respond Ready Workplace program, the Council’s focus on overdose and naloxone awareness, access and adoption, directly aligns with ONDCP’s efforts to address this national crisis. NSC stands ready to continue advocating for worker health and wellbeing and supporting ONDCP and others in saving lives.