Alcohol & Drug Issues

Directions EAP is here to help you and your employees with personal matters that impair, or have the potential to impair job performance. Problems related to alcohol and drug abuse or dependence can be devastating for the company, the employee, and any person in the employee’s life.

  • Absenteeism is estimated to be 4 to 8 times greater among alcohol and drug abusers.
  • Family members also have greater rates of absenteeism. Accidents and on-the-job injuries are far more prevalent among alcohol and drug abusers.
  • Substance abuse causes more deaths, illnesses and disabilities than any other preventable health condition, and it affects Americans from all walks of life.

“Thank you so much for your kindness during such a difficult time for me.”   Directions EAP Counseling Client


When the use or abuse of alcohol or drugs interferes with the employee’s ability to perform his or her duties, the employer does have legitimate concerns including:

  • Performance of work duties
  • Health and safety issues
  • Employee conduct at the workplace

As a supervisor, your intervention and referral of the employee for assistance can result in improved job performance for your organization and can help retain a valuable human resource. Your knowledge, encouragement and positive attitude about employees seeking assistance will help them decide to accept assistance to the EAP.

Some employers do random and “for cause” drug and alcohol screens. When an employee tests positive, one option is to make a formal supervisory referral to the EAP for a chemical dependency evaluation. In these cases, the supervisor is encouraged to contact the EAP ahead of time and let them know a formal referral is being made due to a positive alcohol/drug screen. The EAP will conduct a chemical dependency evaluation, and obtain a limited release of information from the employee. The evaluation will include possible recommendations for alcohol/drug treatment at the employee’s expense (often covered under health insurance). The EAP will continue to follow the employee through case management until treatment is complete.

Other times, there is “suspicion” of an alcohol or drug problem based on work performance, attendance or work relationship problems. In these cases the referral to the EAP is based on work issues. It is extremely important for the supervisor to not diagnose or suggest an alcohol or drug problem.