Workplace Drug Policies

Addressing Pain Management & Opioid Use/Abuse

Internal Policies: Workplace Drug Policies

Illegal drugs were once the primary focus of workplace drug policies, but with today’s opioid epidemic, that has changed. Now more than ever, it’s important to make sure your existing drug policies are up to date and include both prescription drugs and illicit drugs. Here are additional tips:1

  • Consult legal counsel to ensure compliance with regulations from the state and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other applicable regulations pertaining to the employer’s specific industry
  • Ensure appropriate and up-to-date policy details are incorporated in all applicable documents throughout the organization
  • Require employees to sign policies to acknowledge that they have read them
  • Require drug testing for employees after returning to work from a short-term disability, or worker’s compensation case

Your workplace drug policies should prohibit use of unauthorized prescription drugs on company property and recommend that employees notify managers if they are taking a prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drug that could impair their work performance. If they do not choose to notify their manager they must use appropriate procedures (request sick times, request change of duty etc.).1

Keep in mind that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may protect an employee’s use of 0ver-the-counter or prescription drugs to treat a disability.

Review these resources for more information: