Monday, November 16, 2009

Drugs Don’t Work: Just say ‘NO’ to Drugs…in Gwinnett’s Workplaces

Just say “NO”! It’s preached to children every day, what about the workplace? The fact is that drugs simply do not work. How about becoming a role model for all the kids and having a drug free workplace? If schools can be drug-free environments then so can offices!

The Gwinnett Chamber’s Drugs Don’t Work (DDW) program is the perfect way to have a respectable and responsible workplace and save your company money. This program educates Gwinnett employers about the prevention, intervention and elimination of substance abuse in the workplace. The program also provides the continuing education hours needed to obtain and maintain the drug-free workplace certification.

If being a good role model isn’t reason enough to enforce a drug-free workplace, consider many of the financial benefits of being a part of the Gwinnett Chamber’s Drugs Don’t Work program including increasing productivity and reducing your company’s workers’ compensation premiums by 7.5% when you join.

All it takes is five easy steps to become a certified drug-free workplace:

Step 1: Your company must have a substance abuse policy. As a member, a “fill-in-the-blank” state recommended policy will be emailed to you. All you have to do is print it on company letterhead and hand it to all employees.

Step 2: Your company must conduct drug testing. You do not have to drug test all your workforce or have random drug tests. However, you do have to conduct pre-employment, reasonable suspicion (for cause) post-rehab and post-accident drug testing. As a member, you will be offered discounted prices for On-Site and OraLab drug testing kits.

Step 3: Your company must conduct one hour of employee education each year. As a DDW member, the Chamber will provide you with a monthly newsletter that will help you with this requirement. An Employee’s greatest weapon to prevent drug abuse is education.

Step 4: Your company must conduct two hours of supervisor training each year. You can sign up for monthly supervisor newsletters or attend the quarterly meetings in order to meet this requirement.

Step 5: Your Company must EITHER have an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) or a referral list of treatment and counseling centers in your area. As a member, you will have access to an online help center.

Steve Queen from the Drugs Don’t Work Presenting Sponsor Sentinel Offender Services said that, as an added benefit beyond saving his company money, this program helps with family life because the more information and sources someone has, the better. He also believes that this program is a “great source of information on the advantages and pitfalls of the drug-free workplace by bringing in great ideas with speakers and topics. The Chamber helps fill in the gaps that most Web sites leave out.”

Most people brush off a drug-free program because it should be something that is common sense, right? Let’s look at some facts. American business owners lose an estimated $160 billion per year due to drug use. In fact, 77% of illegal drug users are employed in full- and part-time jobs. A quarter of the workforce reports substance abuse or addiction in their family and 42% of them report they have been distracted and less productive at work because of it. Looking at it this way…it seems more important now, doesn’t it?

For more information on this important program visit; or contact Nicole Wright at 770-232-8816 or

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