According to SAMHSA, destigmatizing addiction is the first step in creating a workplace culture that is supportive of those affected by drug and alcohol addiction and occurring mental health conditions and disorders.
5 Steps to Destigmatize Addition in the Workplace:
The first way to destigmatize addiction and recovery in the workplace is to ensure management teams are trained in a way that allows employees to seek support without fear of retribution. Employers must adhere to all laws governing confidentiality and must always respect the privacy of the individuals in need of treatment. Only by making this kind of commitment to supporting their overall health can employers change the trajectory of costs associated with addiction in the workplace.
The second step is for employers to adequately and equitably prioritize tackling substance use challenges in the workplace by demonstrating support for comprehensive programs that include critical employee education, screening, treatment referral and follow up care.
Thirdly, employers must create an environment where employees feel motivated and empowered to seek help to address their substance misuse challenges. To do this, they must take actions that reduce stigma and eliminate the perceived penalty and blame associated with having an open discussion about substance misuse issues, and with participation in workplace treatment programs.
The fourth step is for employers and their human resources teams to ensure that benefits are designed to reflect a clear and generous commitment to providing high-quality options for treatment through employer-based mental health and substance use care. Employers should strive to offer benefits and services for employees and their family members with substance use disorders and to reduce financial and fear-based barriers to accessing appropriate care.
And lastly, it's highly recommended that employers engage directly with employees, managers, families and other community stakeholders to secure buy-in for creating a recovery responsive workplace and that they continuously seek feedback to improve services and support for addiction-related issues.
In summary, the best way to do this is to provide access to support without fear of retribution; demonstrate support for comprehensive programs; create an environment where employees feel motivated and empowered to seek help; design and offer benefits that provide high-quality treatment options; and engage with employees, managers, families and community stakeholders.