Assessing and Engaging the Organization

Understanding the cost implications of Substance Use Disorders within your organization is a great first step.

Developed by the National Safety Council and Shatterproof, this free tool will provide you with a general cost estimate of how substance use (including alcohol, opioids and heroin, marijuana and other drugs) affects your workplace based on your size, your industry, and your state.

The calculator is very easy to use and will provide a report that can be easily emailed and may be helpful to use in a range of presentations.


Regularly track four key data sets to understand the impact on your organization: medical claims, disability claims, leave of absence cases and EAP cases.

Substances to track include:

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Opioids
  • Barbiturates
  • Tobacco/Marijuana

Use data to determine where to focus your internal communication and education campaigns

If successful, you should see your company's efforts driving more overall treatment but at lower cost (ex. more Rx instead of ER visits) as well as less lost time from work


An effective way to garner employee support and engagement around your program is to ask about employees' experiences and suggestions for improvement.

Survey Tips:

  • Designate a trusted Senior Leader to invite employees to take the survey
  • Ensure confidentiality by using a 3rd party research group or tool
  • Ensure your survey takes no more than 5 -10 minutes
  • Ask employees at the end of the survey if they are open to participating in a focus group, and provide the option to submit contact information
  • Report survey results to your organization including themes and potential actions

Conducting focus groups post-survey enables you to dive into key themes and findings from survey results.

Focus Group Tips:

  • Invite participants who self identified as interested from the survey and/or who have volunteered to join focus groups
  • Conduct several focus groups within 30-60 days of the survey to maintain momentum and ensure thoughts and ideas stay top of mind.
  • Include 12-15 participants maximum per focus group
  • Use a neutral party to conduct the focus groups to ensure your employees are comfortable and can share freely.

Standard presentation materials can be used in whole or in part in a wide range of meeting settings. For example:

  • Kick your SUDs campaign off with a Town Hall Meeting led by Senior Leader(s)
  • Share small bits of digestible information throughout the presentation that outline the following:
    • Why your company cares about SUDs
    • Why your company is taking action (e.g., organizational values, productivity, cost, business case/statistics, etc.)
    • Information on the epidemic
    • Personal stories
  • Ensure that there is ample time for Q&A at the end of the meeting

Aligning and gaining support across leadership is an important step in driving a successful internal SUDs program. It is critical for Senior Leaders to understand:

  • The SUD Epidemic
  • How SUDs potentially impact the organization
  • Why education and support are important
  • How and when you provide support

Senior Leadership should be key communicators for your SUDs program. Some activities they can lead around SUDs are as follows:

  • Sending an introductory email to the organization
  • Presenting at a Town Hall Meeting (see Communicating the State of the Epidemic section)
  • Attending Manager Team Meeting(s)
  • Participating in Recovery Month
  • Utilizing national & local resources to customize support

The establishment of a cross-functional advisory team encourages broader awareness, involvement and deeper engagement across the organization. 

  • Select your team
  • Clearly define your "Why"
  • Ask your team to reflect and ask questions
  • Determine your Guiding Principles

10 Word Stories Campaign:

BMC captured the impact addiction has had on our 6,000 employees. We asked the BMC community to share their stories with us using only ten words. We wove their stories together, resulting in a powerful three minute short film.

The video had the following objectives:

  • Show the impact addiction has had on our community
  • Be representative of the community by showcasing our community’s strong diversity and including a range of roles in the organization
  • Demonstrate the stigma associated with addiction by representing anonymous stories
  • Show that BMC is a stigma-free workplace

Feel free to share this video or perhaps create a similar one for your organization.