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Establish a Drug-Free Awareness Program

In addition to publishing a policy statement, the Act requires employers to establish a drug-free awareness program to educate employees about the dangers of drug abuse as well as about the specifics of their policy. The Act does not specify a particular format for the awareness program, although it does state that the education effort must be ongoing and not just a one-time event. Some options that employers may wish to consider include (1) educational seminars delivered by substance abuse professionals, local law enforcement officials, and/or company staff, (2) brochures and/or posters, (3) video materials, (4) interactive computer programs, (5) home mailings and/or payroll stuffers, (6) brown-bag lunches, or any combination of these.

Employers should keep in mind that although some "off-the-shelf" products may be sufficient to communicate the dangers of drug use in the workplace, the drug-free awareness program required by the Act must also include information about the company’s policy, the consequences of violating the policy, as well as information about any available drug counseling or employee assistance program services. This may be accomplished through the use of discussion groups about the company’s policy and its provisions and through the communication of available health benefits for substance abuse treatment by company personnel.

For assistance developing a drug-free awareness program, visit the Advisor's Employee Education section.

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