Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are usually offered through a business’ human resources department or a third-party. These programs can help you get the assistance you need with substance abuse while still maintaining your employment status. EAP benefits are offered as a way to maintain the worker’s productivity by decreasing absenteeism and workplace accidents. Even if the substances are only used after work hours, they still break down the brain and body and make overall work performance plummet. EAP can offer an assessment, treatment plan, and help if a leave of absence is necessary. They help with education and training for employees, confidential employee record-keeping, drug treatment counseling, and assistance finding drug treatment services. EAP representatives are required by law to keep all information confidential. The goal of the EAP is to resolve the issue before it negatively impacts your work performance.
EAPs are not solely for substance abuse problems, they are licensed professionals who are there to help all employees with any problems they may be facing including but not limited to substance abuse, mental health issues, financial problems, marital problems, and more. Certain professions have mandatory EAP referral policies. This means employees in certain positions are required to use the EAP services when a substance abuse problem is suspected. This is especially true for the transportation and the healthcare industries where other people can be hurt by an employee’s drug or alcohol abuse. EAP services can be required by employers before allowing the employee to return to work.
Who Uses EAPs for Addiction Treatment?
EAPs are offered to employees and their families free of charge because business owners see the benefit of allowing their already trained employees to receive the help instead of losing the employee or having a work accident. EAPs are also breaking down some of the stigmas around therapy, mental health issues, and substance abuse. By allowing employees to take the time they need to recover or just a way of dealing with some of the underlying problems allows the workplace to be a safer place for them and everyone else. Employers generally want to keep their employees happy and comfortable so that they do not have to keep hiring new people and waste time and money training them. They would much rather allow a good employee the chance to recover and then resume their productivity and advancements. The national Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence claims drug related issues cost employers about $81 billion a year. This is because of absences, fatalities, theft, injuries, reduced productivity, workers compensation claims, health care, and legal costs. EAPs actually help cut those costs down and save employers money.
Recovery Ways has worked with and continues to work with many pilots, flight attendants, and railroad workers. The U.S. Department of Transportation has strict policies for the testing and treatment of safety-sensitive transportation employees in aviation, trucking, railroads, mass transit, pipelines, and other transportation industries. Prior to 1974, and the establishment of the Air Line Pilot Association (ALPA) established their Human Intervention and Motivation Study (HIMS) treatment program, pilots feared for their jobs. If they mentioned any sort of condition that could disqualify them from flying they kept it under wraps because it meant they would never fly again. Before 1974 basically, no pilot had been treated for alcoholism and reinstated. Now, this is no longer the case. Coworkers, partners, spouses, and friends will push them into seeking help or letting the EAP know who needs help. In these transportation fields, it is important for employees to be safe so that people using the transportation are also safe. Employers understand the importance of offering treatment for substance abuse in these fields, especially in a confidential, safe, and free environment.
Get Help With Your EAP
If you are in one of these professions or another one and suffering with substance abuse, feel free to implement your company’s Employee Assistance Program. If you are unsure if your company offers one of these programs you can ask your company’s Human Resources (HR) department. They would know if your company has one and how to get in touch with them. The EAP will help you plan and get treatment while still keeping your job. Do not hesitate to seek help, these resources are here to help your employer, your coworkers, your family, and you. Don’t compromise your safety or your job, get the help you need now. It is a free resource for you and your family and can be immensely helpful.