Employee Assistance Programs offer people who are suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism opportunities to get the help they need, when they need it. These programs are offered by a great deal of US employers and can provide benefits and services related to drug treatment, among many other services. Also called Member Assistance Programs when offered through a union, these programs offer tools and resources that are specifically designed to help employees and members help themselves when dealing with a problem such as drug addiction or alcoholism. However, many employees are not aware that these programs exist or wouldn’t dare use them even if they did. This is because there is a general misconception that if you use drugs and admit to it, you’ll be fired. But this is exactly what employee assistance programs seek to prevent.
Employee assistance programs and member assistance programs do not penalize workers if they reach out for help for addiction in the appropriate way. In fact, many of these programs have rules and regulations in place that specifically prohibit any action from being taken against an employee or member who requests help. These types of programs were put in place to get people the help they need in a positive, encouraging and friendly environment that is free from fear of reprisals or punishments.
Because each employee assistance program is different, there are typically varying methods by which one should request help. Sometimes there is a specific confidential hotline number to call, and sometimes a specific, qualified individual who works for the company (such as a human resources official) is the sole place to go to ask for help. Other companies have confidential online forms to fill out, and some have outside companies that they use to get their employees the help they need. Checking with the employer’s benefits terms and conditions is a wise idea in order to figure out where to get started.
Once an employee or member has requested assistance for a drug addiction or alcoholism problem, the employee assistance program will work to help you make all of the necessary arrangements. This can include offering information and resources on various treatment options and drug rehab centers, counseling, transportation to a detox center, a residential inpatient program, partial hospitalization program or an intensive outpatient program. Most employee assistance programs or member assistance programs also help you with all aspects of insurance and in some cases, funding for drug addiction services the employee might receive.
Employers offer these types of programs in an effort to maintain the health and happiness of their employees. Employers or unions that have such programs are usually genuinely interested in helping their own people, because modern business philosophies teach us that employees are not a commodity – they are an investment and as such must be protected. And because drug addiction and alcoholism treatment centers and inpatient programs can be completed in 30 days, it makes sense from a business standpoint to offer this service if your hope is to foster an environment where employees dedicate themselves to their job for decades.
If you or someone you know needs help for addiction and they have an employee assistance plan available, help them by making them aware of what these programs can offer. It could mean the difference between a salvaged career and disaster. Employee Assistance Programs and Drug Addiction Treatment.