Presentation: Substance Use Disorder in the Workplace

re/entryFrom Impairment to Empowerment: Addressing Substance Use Disorder in the Workforce

It is estimated 1 in 10 Americans suffers from substance use disorder (SUD), making this topic poignantly relevant for all employers and health professionals. The problem of SUD is compounded by lack of education, cultural stigma and fear of confronting the topic, which leads people away from seeking a life in recovery. Substance use disorder in the workplace impacts everyone.

It is a failure of our culture to perceive employees with SUDs as weaker or having moral shortcomings. This promotes ignorance and drives the disease deeper underground.  We must recognize that addiction is a disease that needs to be treated and change the way the condition is perceived by the greater culture.


The purpose of this presentation is to dispel stigma and ignorance regarding employees who suffer from substance use disorder, promote healthier conversations and informed responses for coworkers, managers, administrators and educators.


It’s time to get the conversation started: How do we become more informed and proactive in addressing SUDs in the workplace? How do we treat our colleagues with substance use disorder as patients rather than failures?


This presentation covers a general introduction to:

  • How people become addicted
  • How to spot symptoms
  • Instilling awareness about SUD
  • Educating staff to respond to substance abuse
  • Strategies for encountering potential substance abuse
  • Considerations for working with clients in recovery

Participants of this presentation will learn to approach addicted employees as patients. We can learn to give them the same compassion we give to people with other diseases. We can treat addiction as the disease that it is.

The target audience of this presentation is anyone who works with an employee suffering from SUD, including administrators, educators, clinicians, researchers, coworkers, managers, ancillary staff such as human resources, EAP, employee health, occupational health, as well as anyone impacted by substance abuse (which means everyone).

Contact us

Insight Support Groups is based out of Boise, Idaho.  You may contact us by calling, emailing or writing to us at the address below.

INSIGHT Support Groups

PO Box 146
Boise ID 83701-0146


or email:


Previous Presentations

Nov.,  2013. Sigma Theta Tau International Biennial Convention, Indianapolis IN
Nov., 2013. BSU 3rd year nursing students
April, 2014. BSU 3rd year nursing students
Jan., 2014. Idaho Board of Nursing
Feb., 2014. Idaho Board of Nursing (Director of Alternative Programs and Southworth Associates,monitoring agency).
April, 2014. IDANA Spring Conference (Idaho Association of Nurse Anesthetists)
Aug., 2014. St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center; Nursing Managers
Jan 2015. Feik’s Feast (small business entrepreneurs)
April 2015. Idaho Ambulatory Surgery Centers Assoc. (IASCA)



Crowley,K., Morgan, C. (2013). Re-entry: a guide for nurses dealing with substance use disorder

National Council of State Boards of Nursing. (2011). Substance use disorder in Nursing: A resource manual and guidelines for alternative and disciplinary monitoring programs. Retrieved from