Supporting and Encouraging Employees

As employees look for support and resources for themselves, family member(s) and/or colleague(s), oftentimes employees have difficult questions to ask their manager, human resources department and others.

It is important to be equipped to answers these questions as they may be the first sign for support and engagement.


While each employee's story is different, it is important as an employer to observe signals an employee may be dealing with a SUD issue.

  • Recurrent Tardiness
  • Withdrawing from Work
  • Less Engagement
  • Performance Issues
  • Behavioral Issues

Create a guide that can be leveraged by all employees to build awareness around SUDs and foster a work environment that is free of stigma and supports your employees' needs. Some suggested topics this guide could cover include:

  • Support through your organizations medical benefits and how to request SUD treatment
  • Information on how to access a Leave of Absence (LOA) when treatment is needed
  • Contact information for the SAMHSA Drug-Free Workplace Helpline which provides confidential, practical, impartial, and up-to-date information, advice, and support free of charge to employees and their families. Topics cover a wide range of issues related to federal and non-federal Drug-Free Workplace Programs and drug testing.
  • Internal programs and resources; e.g. your EAP
  • Links to self-screening tools, community programs and resources
  • List and description of relevant policies

Take advantage of the time of year when you already have your employees' attention. Use your company's annual benefits open enrollment period as an opportunity to spread information about substance use disorders.

  • Push information out to employee's through home mailings or corporate communications. Employees may not know of available services or may not want to ask
  • Focus on areas that show up in your medical plan claims data as areas of concern
  • Include self-screening tools for employees and their family members to review in the privacy of their homes
  • Feature Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services available to employees and family members