To respond to issues around the growing opioid epidemic, the NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) has developed training, resources, and tools on opioids and the workplace. Sharing information about initiatives to prevent opioid misuse and promote recovery friendly workplace programs is part of the WTP’s commitment to propagating this important work.
The Recovery Friendly Workplace Landscape Analysis documents the results of a nationwide analysis of organizations in 31 states that are working to prevent substance use disorder and support recovery in employment. A Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) program strives to prevent substance use disorder by creating a healthy and safe workplace, providing support for workers who are struggling, and facilitating opportunities for people in recovery to reenter or enter the workplace. The report documents the emerging movement to implement RFW programs in workplaces throughout the country; however, resources are lacking to accomplish the main components of these programs, such as outreach, training, and certification. The report highlights the need to increase resources for RFW programs and provides recommendations for policymakers.
The NIEHS Worker Training Program encourages its grantees and the occupational safety and health community to work within coalitions to help build RFW programs and ensure that they address the work-related root causes of substance use such as poor ergonomics, fatigue, lack of access to paid sick leave, and stressful working conditions.
This document, which is an addendum to the Recovery Friendly Workplace Landscape Analysis Report, showcases the great work that states are doing to create and implement RFW programs. It includes information received directly from statewide RFW programs and from basic Internet searches. Information is current as of August 2022, when the information was collected.
The Initiatives to Prevent Opioid Misuse and Promote Recovery Friendly Workplace Programs report includes summaries of opioid training conducted by organizations funded by the NIEHS Worker Training Program. It also highlights examples of initiatives developed by employers, unions, community-based organizations, and government agencies for the prevention of opioid misuse and promotion of recovery friendly workplace programs. These examples can be used to generate ideas on how to tackle various aspects of combatting opioids in the workplace, including stigma and substance misuse treatments. We encourage employers, unions, community-based organizations, public health officials, and researchers to develop their own initiatives, reach out to the leaders and organizations whose work is outlined in this document, and share lessons learned to help stop the deadly toll of this epidemic on workers, families, and communities.