Supporting Employees in Recovery

The first part of supporting an employee is to have a solid drug and alcohol policy in place. As the boss, you have to make sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. Have human resources come in to give a detailed communication of the policy and answers all questions.

Supporting a Recovering Addict

As An Employer

The employer is key to the success of a drug-free workplace policy, as well as strategies and programs that support that policy. Leaders in the workplace should show support and set a positive tone for your drug-free workplace efforts. Make sure employees understand the rationale for the policy and program in ways that are practical, meaningful, and relevant to their job responsibilities.

Maintain a Positive Environment

The atmosphere and environment of a supportive company should be inclusive, as well as firm in keeping the best possible safety, health, and productivity. When evaluating or discussing performance with an employee that is a recovering addict, you should treat them equal to their co-workers while keeping in mind the level of performance they are required to do now versus before treatment. Give as much positive feedback as possible, as well as gentle criticism. For example, “Your reports have improved ten-fold, just start working on cutting down time spent on them.” This goes with any other employee as well.

Offer Help Finding Support

Many times when addicts relapse it is because they don’t have a proper support system in place. If you know or aren’t sure whether the employee has a stable support system, get them in contact with any internal or external resources available.

Internal supports include:

  • human resources departments;
  • unions;
  • in-house employee assistance programs (EAPs);
  • internal health and wellness programs.

External supports include outside providers, like an external EAP, substance misuse interventionists and treatment providers, and healthcare professionals.

Drop by your local Test Smartly Labs today or schedule an appointment for your drug test.


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