How Does Your Work­place Address Prob­lem­atic Sub­stance Use?

The Province - - ADVERTISMENT - Charles Boyer

With the up­com­ing le­gal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana in Canada, many Cana­dian work­places are turn­ing their at­ten­tion to up­dat­ing and strength­en­ing their al­co­hol and drug poli­cies. But does hav­ing an al­co­hol and drug pol­icy re­ally mat­ter? Re­cent Con­fer­ence Board re­search says yes.

In 2016, The Con­fer­ence Board of Canada sur­veyed Cana­dian em­ploy­ers on how they are ad­dress­ing prob­lem­atic sub­stance use. Over 70 per­cent of re­spon­dents re­ported hav­ing for­mal al­co­hol and drug poli­cies, with most em­ploy­ers hav­ing had the pol­icy in place for more than five years.The most com­mon al­co­hol and drug pro­grams of­fered by sur­vey re­spon­dents in­cluded Em­ployee As­sis­tance Pro­grams (EAP), well­ness/health pro­mo­tion/preven­tion pro­grams, and re­turn-to-work sup­port. Em­ploy­ers with al­co­hol and drug poli­cies re­ported greater pos­i­tive im­pacts on EAP us­age, al­co­hol and drug use in the work­place, in­juries and ac­ci­dents, ab­sen­teeism, treat­ment out­comes, pro­duc­tiv­ity, and job per­for­mance when com­pared with em­ploy­ers with­out such a pol­icy. These poli­cies and pro­grams will be of in­creas­ing im­por­tance as em­ploy­ers look to nav­i­gate the changes that will come with the le­gal­iza­tion of recre­ational mar­i­juana.

Charles Boyer Re­search As­so­ciate, The Con­fer­ence Board of Canada

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