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You’ve finally got the goods on an employee who is coming to work drunk, and you appropriately confront him about his behavior. You may not know it, but you’ve just put yourself

in the sights of a master manipulator.

Will you understand the disease of addiction properly or will you be hoodwinked by enabling?

Addicts are experts at pulling at your heartstrings, lack of self-confidence or your common sense. Through reasonable suspicion training, you’ll learn how to spot the following manipulative behaviors and techniques to stop them.

“ But I haven’t had a drink since last night.” Your employee smells like a distillery, but he tries to convince you that you can’t trust your own perceptions. Point out what you are seeing, hearing and smelling.

“ I thought we were friends.” Playing on your loyalty is a classic manipulation. Remind him that you’re his boss first. And even if you are his pal, true friends confront each other with bad behavior.

“It’s medicine.” Even If bourbon was prescribed by a doctor (which it won’t), no one is allowed by policy to come to work with alcohol in their system. Keep hammering home his coming to work “medicated” is the problem.

“You’ll ruin my career.” Addicts often take no responsibility for their actions by blaming others. They can’t perceive that their drinking may possibly ruin their career. His behavior has created your response.

“ What you’re smelling is mouthwash.” Heck, it may be. But your employee may have used enough of it to get drunk. Many cold medications and mouthwash contain copious amounts of alcohol, and they can and will get someone drunk. It doesn’t matter whether your employee has been drinking mouthwash or champagne. It all causes the same behavior when it’s not used responsibly.

“ Yes, I did drink, but I’m an alcoholic.” It may sound noble that your employee realizes he has a problem, but it’s important to remember it’s not an excuse for being intoxicated at work. The issues his condition cause in the workplace are the real problem.

“ Give me a pass this time. I’m going through something at home.” Again, the employee is blaming his wife leaving him, his father dying, his child not speaking to him, etc., for his drinking. Your giving him a pass isn’t going to the solve the problem: He’s drunk at work.

Through DOT supervisor training, you will earn how to be assertive, firm and respectful when confronting an employee about coming to work impaired. It’s important to learn these skills, as well as deescalation techniques, to keep your workplace safe and productive for your other employees.

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For some, getting high is as close as a can of spray paint or a few ounces of gasoline. Inhalant abuse, often called “huffing, or “sniffing,”” generates a quick high from breathing a variety of easy-to-acquire chemicals. From nail polish remover to solvent glue, some people will seek out this cheap and easy method to change the way they feel -- get high. But will it happen in the workplace? Or will you see its effects in an employee who has brain damage from the practice of huffing volatile chemicals? And is it important to put in DOT Supervisor Training.

Inhalant abuse was once thought to be prevalent among teens and young adults, especially those who lived in poverty. After all, things to sniff like gasoline and paint solvent are virtually everywhere.

Solvent glue, also called airplane glue, was one of the most common inhalant substances,

along with spray paint. Lawmakers made it difficult for anyone under legal age to buy these items, which many believed solved the problem. But inhalant use has never gone away completely.

In reasonable suspicion training or DOT supervisor training, you will rarely hear anything about inhalant abuse for one reason--it is not required by the U.S. DOT. Is this a reason for supervisors not to have the information?

It is not one of the key drug categories for which the DOT requires education and awareness. However, some programs will mention it, and in my opinion they should because it only takes a few seconds to educate supervisors, and frankly, you may see evidence of inhalant abuse in some companies. Here is a video below that shares in a few minutes what inhalant abuse symptoms possibly exist in the workplace

566 teenagers trying inhalant abuse in order to get high EVERY DAY! (http://www.consumered.org/learn/inhalant-abuse/statistics)

Learn how important it is to be aware of inhalant abuse in the workplace. When speaking of abuse, we mean "symptoms of use" and actual use on the job. The former could be physical neurological deficits the origin of which are inhalant abuse.

Industries that require employees to frequently use paints or solvents are usually on the lookout for the signs: paint on an employees’ face, plastic bags that contain paint or solvent, or a strong smell that is out of place for its location in the workplace, to name a few. In these workplaces employees may gradually get addicted to the items they use constantly to do their jobs.

Here's a shocker: For children under 12 the most commonly abused substance after Alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco are inhalants! 13% of teens have tried huffing inhalants.

In other industries people most likely to abuse inhalants are those who are attempting to stay away from street drugs. The guy trying to stay clean for a drug test may get desperate and alleviate his cravings through inhaling diesel fumes or a chemical used by your organization. Your company could be liable for accidents related to inhalant abuse, especially if the employee gets the means from your facility.

Be on the lookout for behavioral changes. Inhalant abusers can appear drunk, euphoric, drowsy or seem to be experiencing hallucinations. It’s important to address this type of abuse early because the effects can be devastating. Misuse of flammable inhalants could put your entire workplace in danger of fire or explosion. There are also the risks associated with inhalant abuse that you see with drugs and alcohol, such as on-the-job accidents.

Anyone who abuses inhalants set themselves up for serious illness and even death. Only one instance of abuse can lower the user’s oxygen level to deadly levels or disrupt heart rhythm. Long-term abuse can lead to organ failure and brain injury. Many of the substances used are known to cause cancer with long-term exposure.

Don’t let inhalant abuse fly under your radar. Receiving adequate training and passing it on to line supervisors can help your organization stay vigilant against this disturbing menace. Keep your workplace safe and healthy for all of your employees.

Preview in full the DOT Drug and Alcohol Training Program for Supervisors

#dottraining #inhalants - Learn more about teen drug abuse awareness and training

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All mental health professionals conduct assessments and/or treat people for depression from time to time.

Some who suffer with this illness may experience such chronic long-term sadness that they barely understand any more what it is like to feel normal.

When depressed employees find relief, it is not unlike those who are able by a medical procedure to hear or see for the first time.

You probably have employees on payroll right now who suffer with chronic depression. They function with depression, but they are not firing on all cylinders. Productivity losses for this group of employees is enormous.

Employees with depression may not look "depressed", sulk at their desk, or behave sluggishly. Still, depression is one of the most costly illnesses to employers at a whopping $75 billion in lost productivity and absenteeism alone.

Consider educating employees about depression perioidically so those who suffer from it have the chance to self-diagnose, rally with motivation, seek help. This is easy to do, and the payoffs can be great.

Here's a tip: Educate employees about depression in an article, and refer to a term called "bottomless sadness" associated with depression, and normal sadness. Google this term, and wrap a 150 word article around it. Put it in your health and wellness newsletter (or wait until March when I will do it in Frontline Employee.) You will be surprised at the impact this article has employees. Some who need help right now may reachout.

Don’t do a one-shot educational presentation or brown bag on depression. Instead trickle the information out in chapters with your newsletter, fliers, or another wellness tips program. You will see people move toward getting help after awareness builds after about six messages.

Consider this reproducible and editable tip sheet called “Understanding Depression.” Or Google for one like it somewhere on the Web. There are many. But, begin educating employees about this brain disease if you have not done so in a while.

Note, the tip sheet above also is available as a Video, Web Course, DVD, and PowerPoint. All have professional narration.

Contact me anytime.

Daniel Feerst, BSW, MSW, LISW-CP

Publisher, WorkExcel.com 1-800-626-4327

See the 100+ page catalog of 220 Products.

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Tom Petty is dead, but his overdose was only a dramatic symptom of his addictive disease. Don't be fooled. There is more to the story that you are not getting from the press concerning this tragedy. After researching his psycho-social history a bit, I have learned, as suspected that Tom Petty likely had a bio-genic, hereditary illness we now call acute chronic alcoholism.

He inherited his susceptibility to this chronic, hereditary illness from his father who was an out-of-control physically abusive alcoholic who did not approve of his child's interests in the arts. His mother intervention is what saved him, but later, as result of his acquired illness, triggered by consuming alcohol, he became a drug addict as well, like millions of alcoholics do. He had nearly a walking medicine cabinet in him of cross tolerant, cross addictive drugs (with alcohol.) An overdose, inevitably killed Tom Petty like so many other people, including rockers.

There is nothing unusual about Tom Petty's story, except his ability, like Michael Jackson and Prince, to access whatever drugs he wanted because of wealth, enabling, and a lack of influence and leverage that would have driven him into recovery.

Don't let the media's glorification of Tom Petty allow you to miss the simple basics of this story -- this drug death we learned about is a manifestation of an illness that affects 1 out 10/11 drinkers and 1 out of 4 families. This is the publicity that should emanate from this news story. Alcoholics acquire alcoholism out of no fault of their own whatsoever by consuming a legal and socially acceptable food product when they start drinking for same reasons as most people do. Susceptibility then unwittingly kicks in.

Unwittingly, they are sitting ducks because the earliest symptoms are nothing more than the ability to drink more than most people and feel great, not get drunk, drink more frequently, and have little effects--for years while they acquire tolerance to ethanol metabolization. Is this your experience or someone you know?

If so, you will also feel more euphoric than your light weight social drinking friends. You will therefore hang out with folks more likely to drink like you do. You will slowly acquire a definition of alcoholism that does not include yourself. And you will change that definition over time to eliminate the new symptoms you acquire. This is the nature of denial. It's insidious as hell.

There is nothing mysterious about the origin of this disease. You can't even get research dollars anymore to study genetics unless it is really unique in its focus. Over 1000 adoptive twin studies have been conducted. An alcoholic parent increases the probability of acquiring alcoholism by over 400%. Proving alcoholism is genetic is old news.

The movies, media, myths, and misconceptions, and thousand years of competing bogus theories before effective genetic research arrived still contributes to horrible confusion about alcoholism. The AMA and World Health Organization declared it a disease over 50 years ago. All of us are victims of this confusion, much of which is linked to economics because different professions compete for the treatment approach of people with alcoholism or and professional livelihoods or licensed professionals are linked to whatever model of understanding of the illness they are operating under.

There really is no such thing as prevention of alcoholism unless you simply do not consume alcohol, or consume it so infrequently that you do not tax your genetic susceptibility to it. This is a tall order for a universally accepted consumer product 80% of the population enjoys. And with the positive effects in the first 15-20 years of drinking, what alcoholic is going to say WHOA! -- I quit! No way.

Are you the next Tom Petty? Do you know someone who might be? Take this quiz--and if you score about 10 points, or more, you get a golden opportunity to save your life. https://www.integration.samhsa.gov/clinical-prac…/…/Mast.pdf
- or give to a friend -- then print this handout: http://www.workexcel.com/content/PDF/V002.pdf - keep them in your medicine cabinet.

For Training Employees in Substance Abuse Awareness: - https://www.workexcel.com/alcohol-and-drug-awareness-education-and-training-for-employees-ppt-dvd-video-web-course/

For Training Supervisors in Substance Abuse - https://www.workexcel.com/non-dot-supervisor-training-for-reasonable-suspicion-education-and-awareness/


For Training Supervisors (DOT Mandated Format) - https://www.workexcel.com/reasonable-suspicion-dot-drug-alcohol-training-for-supervisors-2hr-Certificate/

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Sure employees get training in customer service. That's critical. But, unfortunately, there is one person who is in

charge. It's the supervisor.

If supervisors don't know how to lead customer service teams, then all the training employees get can be for naught. Well, problem solved.

Here is a course for supervisors that hits every key point.

Cost: $79.00
CEUs: 0.3 (Contact Hours: 3)
Access Time: 30 days
Course Description

A Manager's Guide to Superior Customer Service

This course explores the art and science of developing a superior customer experience. Customers are vital to any organization and superior customer service can pay large financial dividends.
Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the concept of the comprehensive customer experience
  • Discuss the case for offering superior customer service
  • Describe the customer service philosophies of leading companies. including Apple,
    Nordstrom, L.L. Bean, and others
  • Discuss the concept of performance measurements and Key Performance
    Indicators (KPIs)
  • Describe the use of the Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Discuss the Voice of the Customer (VoC) process
  • Outline ways to build customer loyalty
  • Explain how to calculate lifetime Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Discuss the issues involved in managing customer service
  • Describe how to establish customer service expectations
  • Discuss the approach to providing customer service on different platforms (in-person, over
    the phone, online)
  • Explain approaches for handling difficult customers


Key Features

  • Expert-supported
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Accessible
  • Badge and credit-awarding
  • Games & Flashcards
  • Real-world case studies
  • Audio-enabled in app


https://www.workexcel.com/supervisor-training-and-leadership-education-courses-online/#Management



Refund Policy


You may request a refund up to 5 days from the purchase date. The registration fee will only be refunded if less than 10% of the course has been completed. Completion percentage can be viewed on the Course Progress page from within the course.
Notes


Estimated time to complete: 5 hours


This course has an "Ask the Expert" feature, which submits your questions directly to an expert in the field you are studying. Questions are answered as quickly as possible and usually within 24 hours.

This course does not require any additional purchases of supplementary materials.

Learners must achieve an average test score of at least 70% to meet the minimum successful completion requirement and qualify to receive IACET CEU credit. Learners will have three attempts at all graded assessments.

Get started here.

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Evidence Supports Access to Bariatric Surgery and Other Obesity Treatments

Effective prevention and treatment steps—including coverage for bariatric surgery, when indicated—can help employers to control the health and economic impact of obesity in the workplace, according to an ACOEM Guidance Statement, published in the January Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The statement provides recommendations for employers and health plan designers to manage obesity among employees. The recommendations were developed by an ACOEM expert panel, based on 275 selected, high-quality studies of obesity in the workplace. "Our findings support the use of both lifestyle modification and bariatric surgery to assist appropriate patients in losing weight," write ACOEM President and Panel Chair Charles M. Yarborough III, MD, MPH, and colleagues.

Nearly 38 percent of US adults are obese, including about 40 percent of women and 35 percent of men. Meanwhile, surveys suggest that most employees do not have coverage for obesity treatments. In addition to its effects on worker health and safety, obesity in the workplace has a major impact on health care costs, absenteeism, and productivity. Annual costs for obesity-related absenteeism alone are estimated at $8.65 billion.

"The cost of obesity among workers is immense, and the responsibility for managing it is increasingly falling to employers," Dr. Yarborough and coauthors write. They cite evidence that work can also be a causal factor for obesity, with risk factors including social stressors, psychosocial work factors, working hours, sleep and night shift work, and sedentary behavior.

Based on the evidence, the expert panel provides a set of treatment recommendations for addressing worker obesity. Treatment recommendations include implementing workplace wellness programs and behavioral counseling to aid employees in adopting healthy lifestyles. Based on studies showing health and economic benefits, the expert panel also recommends that employers offer insurance coverage and access to bariatric surgery for treatment of obesity. The recommendations include specific criteria for eligibility for bariatric surgery.

The Guidance Statement also identifies key areas for further research, including studies to clarify and maximize the benefits of obesity medications and bariatric surgery. Dr. Yarborough and colleagues conclude, "As these interventions may prove cost effective in the long term, a case can be made that they be covered by insurance."

Mitchell Roslin, MD, Director of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, is a coauthor of the new report. "Whereas the impact of obesity on life expectancy, diabetes, sleep apnea and health care costs are frequently discussed, the hidden damage and consequences of obesity on the American work force are less known and incredibly detrimental," Dr. Roslin comments. "Obesity leads to reduced performance, increased chance of disability, and greater likelihood for requiring performance waivers for certain aspects of employment. There is a direct impact on health care costs and a harder to quantify burden on productivity.

"In this much-needed and sentinel document, specialists from multiple fields related to obesity and population health management have compiled critical information from evidence-based studies and made recommendations to begin to counteract this national epidemic. It is becoming widely known that companies with healthy employees succeed and have better employee and customer satisfaction. Obesity is a key determinant of health, yet increasing at alarming rates. The importance of adding greater awareness and better programs to combat obesity to the workplace cannot be overstated."

# # #

CitationYarborough CM III, Brethauer S, Burton WN, et al. ACOEM Guidance Statement. Obesity in the workplace: impact, outcomes, and recommendations. J Occup Environ Med. 2018;60(1):97-107.

Contact — For interviews, contact the ACOEM Communications Department at info@acoem.org.

About ACOEM — ACOEM (www.acoem.org), an international society of 4,500 occupational physicians and other health care professionals, provides leadership to promote optimal health and safety of workers, workplaces, and environments.

About the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine — The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (www.joem.org) is the official journal of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Edited to serve as a guide for physicians, nurses, and researchers, the clinically oriented research articles are an excellent source for new ideas, concepts, techniques, and procedures that can be readily applied in the industrial or commercial employment setting.

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The research is clear--better empathetic communication and engagement with injured workers can reduce workers' compensation costs associated with their recovery.

HR and EAPs should collaborate on this construct to get employees back to work sooner, reduce lawsuits, help prevent related employment claims, identify more troubled employees at risk of re-injury, and address secondary personal problems of injured workers that sabotage recovery.

This is not rocket science. Get excited, man! Follow 25 injured workers in 2018 and engage them in an "EAP Proactive Recovery Program." Then, compare your results--using 6-8 metrics--absences, treatment costs, re-injury rates, legal claims, reduced HR hassle time, speedier return to work, employee turnover, reduced overtime, etc.--to the same costs associated with the last 25 compensable injuries that were not similarly followed.

You should see a powerful return on this program. Then show up at EAPA conference or share your results at a SHRM conference.

Here are a few ideas to consider for your project:

1. Consider having injured workers engage with the EAP. A self-referral, or even a formal referral after injury is appropriate because the referral is based upon a job-related issue--injury. Another source of referral is the workers' compensation managed care nurse--get this individual on board with the program.

2. Have the EAP assess the psycho/social and environmental issues, and intervene with those that could contribute to prolonged absence--this is a research-proven cost driver for WC injuries--the longer out, the less likely the return to work.

3. Institute EAP follow-up with medical doctors. They often have information helpful to a better EAP assessment.

4. Identify workers affected by depression and resolve employee concerns and complaints related to communications with the boss, HR, etc. (This reduces the likelihood of employees involving attorneys and suing the organization*.)

*See: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/2013/07/injured-workers-hire-attorneys-due-to-lack-of-employer-communication/
4. Provide assertiveness training to help injured employees avoid peer pressure to engage in prohibited work activities that can cause re-injury when they return to the job.

Return to work programs are great, but many include risk of re-injury if they are located near the environment associated with the original injury. ("Come'on Joe, help lift this lumber! You're back is fixed by now! Gimme a break!")
5. Conduct an EAP assessment for untreated alcoholism. (WC injuries are three times higher for alcoholic workers.) Also have the EAP discuss opioid use issues because many of these folks are at risk for addiction, especially those with back injuries.
These few activities require trust, a commitment to confidentiality, and services that only an EAP with its core technology and legally-backed, confidentiality assurances can offer. (Think again if you still believe #800 insurance hotlines can engage to this degree with employees and key stakeholders.)
So, "who you gonna call" to reduce workers' compensation costs? Try an effective EAP with a programmatic approach to WC injury and recovery--or get one in place for 2018.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

WorkExcel.com Tip: Are you frustrated with doing your own internal company newsletter for employee wellness, news, and productivity? Fax back page 4 - check the free option and try Frontline Employee


Are you a subscriber to WorkExcel.com newsletters? Go here suggest content articles for 2018. I will consider it!

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Alcohol awareness training is an important function in every workplace where large numbers of employees exist. Most

alcohol awareness training is inadequate or too superficial. Before purchasing your training program, be sure to get a good look at the product. Any vendor can do this by simply marking the program as "For Preview Purposes Only". A good example of a DOT Supervisor Training course for alcohol and drug awareness, shown in full, can be found here.

DOT Supervisor Training Elements

  • Make sure the DOT Supervisor Training provides employees (learners or supervisors) with information necessary to increase awareness about alcohol and other drugs of abuse that help them dispel myths and rid themselves of their deeply ingrained falsehoods about addiction. If you do not provide at least some information in this regard, even a handout, you can bet that no matter how beautiful your presentation, it will fail to motivate supervisors to act on your policy.

  • The alcohol awareness training should focus on employee well-being and workplace productivity and should include information about the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction (addictive disease); common myths and misconceptions; tolerance and cross tolerance, denial; enabling and armchair diagnosing.

The alcohol awareness training should raise awareness about the misinformation most people possess about alcoholism and drug addiction garnered from popular culture, the media, and family history. One of society's greatest misconceptions is that someone has to "want help" before they can be helped. The truth is most employees are motivated or pressured by tools of influence or leverage such as a job, money, prison or divorce.

Alcohol Training Course for DOT Training of Supervisors of DOT Employees

  • Treatment of the alcoholic or drug addict is by and large an educational process designed to motivate or help manage the disease--to place it into a hiatus, keep it inactive via abstinence of alcohol and mood altering substances, and help a patient acquire emotional common sense and life skills alcoholism has natural eroded. Note that the alcoholism came first, and the short-circuiting of maturity followed, not the other way around. The alcohol training course should discuss the treatment process and how patients are treated.
  • No, the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations do not require this information in your DOT supervisor training course, but again, you are seeking to make an impact on supervisors that will help them see the total picture of risk, identification, referral, treat-ability of the disease, and inspire motivation to take action.


If an intervention is to take place at some point by the organization because of performance issues or even by families outside the organization, the alcohol training course section of the DOT will be inspiring individuals to take action. It is simply difficult to ignore reality once you are in possession of it and your ability to enable and deny are diminished because of the sort of drug and alcohol education mentioned above.

(Note: Choose an alcohol training course that clearly defines terms and provides resources for further information. Make sure it discusses what employees should know as well as supervisor. If you do that, you will be able use the program for employee drug and alcohol awareness by simply removing the supervisor slides. We encourage purchasers to do this.)

It might be important to think about what type of presentation you will make and where it will take place. Think about whether the alcohol training course is to be presented to many employees/supervisors or just one person. Consider a web course if you anticipate supervisor skipping out of education, being sick, difficult to locate, gather, and present as one group. A drug and alcohol program online for supervisors will "mop" up all your stragglers. This is an example of DOT Online Training for Supervisors.

Look at availability for the alcohol training course to be purchased in different formats or to be custom designed to your organization/needs. If your alcohol training course must provide a certification of completion be sure that it is included as well with any handouts you may need to pass out.

Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion Training:What’s Required Media for Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion Training

Supervisor reasonable suspicion training mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation is a requirement for those in selected positions who oversee others with safety-sensitive positions.

Mandatory DOT Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion Training does not have to be strictly audio-visual. Many people responsible for training get this part wrong. The requirements are for two hours of material - one hour of alcohol related and one hour of drug related to the signs and symptoms, effects, and impact of these substances.

Handouts to read, test questions with answer review, and even classroom discussion are all permissible ways of earning these two hours of training to help supervisor understand and retain information.

You'll find all of that capability in this Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion Training program. There are few things that are important to include in Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion Training however. These include a complete grounding in education about alcoholism, because this topic is the most pervasive problem supervisor’s face. It is also the most significant problem when it comes to costs, problems, liability, and much more.

The best time to give supervisors training when you can reach people. Sound impossible? It's not. Use a self-operating web course that uploads to your internal website. You can then do Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion Training 24 hours a day.

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We know that the U.S. Department of Transportation does not require that mandatory alcohol and drug education

training for DOT supervisors include information like teen drug abuse, enabling, or even job performance related information associated with employee substance abuse -- except of course, how these might affect psycho-motor skills. In other words, discussing absenteeism is not even relevant if you read the regulations.

Obviously, your training needs more than what the DOT recommends. If not, you're going to fall short of motivating DOT supervisors to act on the drug-free workplace policy if they stay awake, that is. And, this is the goal, correct--acting to refer to testing if signs and symptoms of substance abuse are demonstrated by reasonable suspicion?

The types of substances target for education include alcohol, stimulants, depressants, PCP, marijuana, and narcotics -- and now additional information associated with several types of opioids is required for federal agency DOT supervisors--but do offer some additional information about teen substance abuse and enabling.That's my recommendation. It doesn't have to a lot.

If you add the training mentioned above--only a few minutes is fine--it will do three things, all positive: 1) Make your training of supervisors less boring. 2) Make an impact on parents with the ability to intervene more effectively at home; and 3) contribute to the larger societal need to reduce substance abuse in general. And there is some news to share about this that you probably haven't heard. In fact, this news is national news.

Drug Abuse News DOT Supervisors and Employees in Alcohol and Drug Awareness Training Should Hear

And here's the good news the media did not report widely (I will give the media a break since there has been a lot of breaking news lately, or maybe bad news sells more soap, who knows.)

The story is that drug and alcohol abuse is down--way down--among teens! It is a huge national trend. Seriously, this is second coming headlines.

Researchers looked at all the numbers. They analyzed 210,000 young people for drug and alcohol use behaviors. This group was in the 12-17 years old age range. These teens were part of a survey that was conducted between 2003 to 2014.

Substance use disorders among this age group have dropped 49%! Substances associated with abuse of alcohol, cigarettes, illicit drugs, and opioids were all measured.

And here is the associated, correlated information you may want to bank on: fighting, assault, stealing, and selling drugs

or carrying a handgun--also dropped 34 percent among this group.

The researchers associated with study were from the Washington University School of Medicine.  Go to this link to see the news https://medicine.wustl.edu/news/large-declines-te...

The decline mentioned above spans about 12 years. So, we are looking at a definite trend, and with the sample being so large -- over 200,000 kids studied -- this is a seismic shift despite the encouraged decriminalization of marijuana nationwide sought by some states and encouraged with a wink and a nod by some national leaders. Go figure. Colorado is the exception, of course. There drug abuse there is up dramatically 300% as well as all the associated problems that come with marijuana use including auto accidents, child ER emergencies for THC poisoning, and more. But I digress....

The global assessment from researchers: Teens are becoming less likely to engage in risky behaviors. Teens are also delaying engaging in sexual behaviors more. And the opioid epidemic. What about that? Yup. Well, it's fallen among teenagers even though this problem is a national health emergency.

So, all this boils down to the fact that in 2014, there were fewer teens abusing drugs than in 2003 and it's a trend. In total they estimate is about 2,000,000 fewer addicted teenagers.

I would like to suggest that mentioning teen substance abuse, and handing literature to DOT supervisors in drug and alcohol training classes, will help them understand enabling. Do the same for employee substance abuse awareness training. You may want to also give a second presentation to parents of teens on substance abuse awareness, what parents should know.

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Invite DOT Supervisors and Employees to an Educational Program about Substance Abuse

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The research is clear--better empathetic communication and engagement with injured workers can reduce workers' compensation costs associated with their recovery.

HR and EAPs should collaborate on this construct to get employees back to work sooner, reduce lawsuits, help prevent related employment claims, identify more troubled employees at risk of re-injury, and address secondary personal problems of injured workers that sabotage recovery.

This is not rocket science. Get excited, man! Follow 25 injured workers in 2018 and engage them in an "EAP Proactive Recovery Program." Then, compare your results--using 6-8 metrics--absences, treatment costs, re-injury rates, legal claims, reduced HR hassle time, speedier return to work, employee turnover, reduced overtime, etc.--to the same costs associated with the last 25 compensable injuries that were not similarly followed.

You should see a powerful return on this program. Then show up at EAPA conference or share your results at a SHRM conference.

Here are a few ideas to consider for your project:

1. Consider having injured workers engage with the EAP. A self-referral, or even a formal referral after injury is appropriate because the referral is based upon a job-related issue--injury. Another source of referral is the workers' compensation managed care nurse--get this individual on board with the program.

2. Have the EAP assess the psycho/social and environmental issues, and intervene with those that could contribute to prolonged absence--this is a research-proven cost driver for WC injuries--the longer out, the less likely the return to work.
3. Institute EAP follow-up with medical doctors. They often have information helpful to a better EAP assessment.

4. Identify workers affected by depression and resolve employee concerns and complaints related to communications with the boss, HR, etc. (This reduces the likelihood of employees involving attorneys and suing the organization*.)

*See: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/2013/07/injured-workers-hire-attorneys-due-to-lack-of-employer-communication/
4. Provide assertiveness training to help injured employees avoid peer pressure to engage in prohibited work activities that can cause re-injury when they return to the job.

Return to work programs are great, but many include risk of re-injury if they are located near the environment associated with the original injury. ("Come'on Joe, help lift this lumber! You're back is fixed by now! Gimme a break!")

5. Conduct an EAP assessment for untreated alcoholism. (WC injuries are three times higher for alcoholic workers.) Also have the EAP discuss opioid use issues because many of these folks are at risk for addiction, especially those with back injuries.

These few activities require trust, a commitment to confidentiality, and services that only an EAP with its core technology and legally-backed, confidentiality assurances can offer. (Think again if you still believe #800 insurance hotlines can engage to this degree with employees and key stakeholders.)

So, "who you gonna call" to reduce workers' compensation costs? Try an effective EAP with a programmatic approach to WC injury and recovery--or get one in place for 2018.
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