(WAUKESHA, WI, September 2nd, 2020 )– Peter Bruzelle, Executive Director and Founder of the Recovery Business Association (RBA), spoke at the White House on September 3rd, 2020 for the Recovery at Work: Celebrating Connections White House Roundtable event.
Brunzelle was invited to share about his personal recovery story and his efforts to create career connections and opportunities for people in recovery, as well as his passion and work to establish recovery responsive workplace policies and programs nationwide so employees can receive support to find recovery and maintain their livelihoods.
“I was honored to be included in an event that is bringing awareness to individuals who are struggling with substance use disorders in the workplace,” Brunzelle said. “In most cases, when employees struggle with addiction it affects everyone at work, including executive teams, HR staff, managers and co-workers, even when the issue is never brought to the attention of employers. A new approach to this old issue is critical if employers want to positively impact the people in their care, their bottom line and their local economies.”
The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration states that many employees do not seek help for their alcohol, prescription drug, or other drug problems because they are concerned that these problems may be negatively viewed. Employees might be more willing to seek the help they need when alcohol, prescription drugs, or other substances are linked to health and wellness promotion efforts.
According to a recent survey by the American Addiction Centers reported that According to our survey results, 22.5% of people admit to using drugs or alcohol during work hours. One in four men admits to using drugs or alcohol in their place of work, while one in five women say they have used drugs or alcohol in a professional setting.
A whopping 66% of people admitted that they have once used alcohol during work hours. Marijuana was the second most common substance to be used during work hours, with over 22% of respondents saying they have used the drug recreationally at work. Over 10% of people admit to using Oxycontin or Vicodin at work outside of medical need at work. Codeine, Adderall, and Ritalin all had similar rates of use in the workplace, hovering at a little over 8%.
Substance misuse affects workplace attendance, morale and performance while increasing the likelihood of accidents and legal liability and healthcare costs.
Bruznelle established Recovery Business Association to fill these gaps. “We’re passionate about educating and training employers of all types on why it’s critical to become advocates for their employees by supporting prevention, early intervention, and treatment and recovery efforts. It’s time for employers to really grasp that addiction is a chronic but treatable, medical illness and that a little support can go a long way in retaining and building a quality workforce.”
Through RBA, small and large business entities, nonprofit organizations and professionals seeking support to improve issues related to addiction in the workplace will be able to undergo organizational screenings and assessments, receive support to develop recovery responsive workplace programming and policies, participate in customized trainings for executive teams and HR staff, and more. RBA members will also have the opportunity to network with other business organizations and their executive teams, receive support to train their HR staff on addiction-related issues, attend RBA’s annual summit, and more. All business organizations and professionals are welcome to apply.
The RBA website (https://www.recoverybusinessassociation.org/) provides additional information and a place to register for updates and requests to participate in the membership program.
You can watch Peter Bruznelle at the White House Recovery Roundtable here.
RBA’s vision is to change the way employers view and support their employees struggling with substance use issues in order to retain quality workers, enhance their bottom line and local economies and help support employees to find and maintain recovery and their livelihoods. For more information, please visit: RecoveryBusinessAssociation.org
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