Guest Post By: David K. Mineta, Deputy Director, Office of Demand Reduction Office of National Drug Control Policy
As we celebrate National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, Drug Free Work Week provides an opportunity to highlight the benefits that these programs bring to employers, workers and communities. Prevention, early intervention, and treatment are all critical to building an even stronger and healthier U.S. workforce.
On behalf of ONDCP, SAMHSA’s Division of Workplace Programs continues to implement the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Program (DFWP) responsible for ensuring the national security, public health, and public safety of our country. The DFWP is one of the largest public health prevention programs in the U.S, that reaches 400,000 Federal employees and 12 million workers in Federally regulated industries. Further, private industry employers have recognized the value of the DFWP program and are currently testing an additional 50 million workers as a condition of employment utilizing the Federal standards.
We know that, like other chronic diseases, addiction can be managed successfully. Although often a long and difficult journey, research shows treatment is effective in helping people with substance use disorders achieve recovery. Treatment programs enable people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on the brain and behavior and to regain control of their lives. Providing treatment and recovery support services also lessens the burden substance abuse places on families and society. And, studies show that every dollar spent on treatment saves four dollars in health care costs and seven dollars in public safety costs.
ONDCP is proud to stand with SAMHSA and the U.S. Department of Labor in celebrating Drug Free Work Week. We encourage businesses to get involved today to help spread the word that working drug free helps to prevent accidents, make workplaces safer, and improve productivity and reduce costs. Learn more about the Drug-Free Workplace Alliance and get ideas on how you can get involved today!