The week of Oct. 15-20 was National Drug-Free Work Week.
It's a focus on the importance of drug-free workplaces and the treatment services which can help workers with substance abuse problems.
In Columbiana County, the economy is increasingly energized by the shale industry and its subsidiaries.
Employees with healthy, drug-free workforces can effectively compete in this environment, but those dealing with employee substance abuse are faced with the financial drains of absenteeism, lost productivity, accidents and poor quality work. To address these burdens which affect the bottom line, the wise employer limits the hiring of workers who use substances, educates and informs workers about substance use and abuse and consistently enforces policies to help workers through treatment or to terminate employment when needed.
The Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services and the Bureau of Workers Compensation jointly observed National Drug-Free Work week to promote the prevention, detection and treatment of substance abuse among Ohio's workers.
Employees who abuse substances are more prone to have or cause accidents which result in increased workers' compensation claims. Drug-free safety programs provide useful tools to address the negative effects of substance abuse and, in Ohio, employers who implement such programs can also reduce their workers' compensation premiums through discounts.
As the director of an agency which daily treats many workers who have substance abuse problems, I encourage all area employers who do not have a Drug-Free Safety Program to explore the many ways that both employers and employees can benefit from implementing one.
Eloise V. Traina
Family Recovery Center