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Substance Counseling

Substance Abuse Counseling

Substance Abuse counseling and coaching programs for employees are more important today than ever. The Surgeon General recently issued an alarming report on alcohol and drug addiction, including the growing epidemic of prescription drug-related deaths. Substance abuse in the workplace has spiked to a 10-year high. Nearly 21 million Americans struggle with substance use disorders, yet only 1 in 10 receives treatment. Every day, 78 people die from opioid overdoses, which is nearly four times the number since 1999. Another 80,000 deaths a year are a direct result of excessive alcohol use.

Often, people associate the substance abuse with “street drugs” but the reality is that a huge percentage of problems are associated with alcohol and prescription drug abuse. Prescription opioid abuse has become so pervasive that many public health officials characterize opioids as a gateway to heroin and other street drugs.

Substance abuse is not something that employees can confine to their off hours, the associated problems inevitably spill over into the workplace. Substance abuse is associated with a host of personal and work-related problems: absence, a deterioration in performance, a decrease in productivity, depression, suicide, financial problems, domestic discord, violence, vehicular accidents and fatal overdoses, to name some issues that are common byproducts of serious abuse.

Wellness counseling and coaching can help employees who are abusing alcohol, prescription medications or other substances. There are two paths for the employee to get help:

  • The Member employee can self-refer by calling a toll-free number to speak with a counselor.
  • The employer can refer a Member employee as part of a disciplinary process. Employers are often able to spot substance abuse problems early in deteriorating work performance or diminished productivity. The leverage of a job and associated income means that employers can often play a key role in early intervention and in motivating an employee to seek treatment.

Whatever the source of the call, the employee will work with one of the TotalCare Wellness telephonic Substance Abuse Counselors or Coaches. The Counselor will assess the problem through counseling, possibly employing tools such as biometric screenings and Health Risk Appraisals. The Substance Abuse Counselor or Coach will help the employee in modifying behaviors related to drug and alcohol use, and will also identify treatment programs, support groups and other resources. If the employee needs outpatient or inpatient treatment, the Counselor can identify and make referrals to such programs when appropriate.

While most counseling is directly with employees who are experiencing a problem, our Counselors can also provide guidance to employees whose lives are disrupted by a family member with a substance abuse problem. TotalCare Wellness can also work with employers to train supervisors in making referrals and offer guidance to employers in developing policies and programs related to substance-free workplaces.