“What you always do before you make a decision is consult. The best public policy is made when you are listening to people who are going to be impacted. Then, once a policy is determined, you call on them to help you sell it.”
— Elizabeth Dole

News - 04 Dec 2022

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Substance Abuse Increase Since COVID-19:
Addressing an increase in alcohol and recreational drugs during the pandemic and in remote work

Key Speakers

Judge Linda Davis, Macomb County 41B District Court
Doctor Heidi Ginter, Regional Chief Medical Officer at Recovery Centers of America
Doctor Ann Anderson Berry, Executive Director at Child Health Research Institute
Cyndi Turner, Co-Founder at Insight Into Action Therapy and Author

This event was held on Tuesday, October 4th 2022.

Overview

According to SHRM.org, substance abuse became extremely prevalent during the pandemic, primarily in the remote work sphere. “Amid the pandemic, mental health and substance use disorders have worsened, in some cases significantly, including the use of alcohol and recreational drugs during the workday. Of particular concern is the rising rate of opioid addiction and related deaths.” (SHRM) What can be attributed to this spike in drug use? According to Pam Nabors, president and CEO of staffing agency CareerSource Central Florida, “high unemployment coupled with an increase in remote work at the height of the pandemic created a condition in which services were scarce or workers didn’t know how to access them,” leading to some mental health problems and consequently an increase in substance use. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between April 2020 and April 2021, 100,000 fatalities were recorded related to substance abuse, reaching a 12-month all time high level.

 Not only is substance abuse prevalent within remote workers, but it is also affecting the ability of employers to hire and even keep workers in companies. While some are not addicted to alcohol or drugs themselves, there are damaging effects on the person when a loved one does have such addiction and they require help. As Nabor continues to depict, “the addiction of a family member can wear on the employee’s productivity.”

The Sierra Tucson’s Addiction Treatment Center performed a Self-Medication Nation Survey of 1,011 employees across the United States and found the following startling statistics: “One-quarter of respondents had participated in a Zoom or Microsoft Teams work call while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other recreational drugs. One in 5 admitted they've used alcohol, marijuana or other drugs while employed remotely this year; 73 percent of those said that if their employer insists they return to the office, they will miss the opportunity to use marijuana and other drugs during the workday. More than one-quarter said an added benefit of working from home is the opportunity to use alcohol and other drugs during the workday.” (Sierra Tucson Addiction Treatment Center)

This symposium will provide a space for policymakers, employers, employees and companies to have an open discussion about substance abuse within the remote work sphere and the negative impact that the pandemic has had on the mental health of working-class citizens. This discussion will allow people to share their experience with remote work and the use of recreational drugs and alcohol, as well as allow companies, Human Resources managers and policymakers to adequately address mental health within the workspace and learn how to provide further assistance to those struggling with this phenomenon.

Program

  • Discuss the negative impact that the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic had on the mental health of employees across various sectors of the workplace.
  • Assess the extent of substance abuse within the remote work sphere, comparing data and stories to understand the causes and prevalence of this issue.
  • Analyze what current company policies are doing to address the use of substance abuse within the work force and mental health issues among employees.
  • Review the economic impact that substance abuse, missing days of work and taking time off for mental health reasons has on companies and employees.
  • Consider possible solutions moving forward for both employees and employers to aid in substance abuse and make remote work more efficient and less isolating.
  • Look into ways that company Human Resources can be more effective in aiding those affected by substance turmoil and mental health issues.

Who Should Attend?

 

  • Employers
  • Employees of any company
  • Recruiters
  • Career Coaches
  • Human Resources Specialists
  • Substance Misuse Counselors
  • Addiction Treatment Providers
  • Sober Living Providers
  • SUD Policy and Advocacy Workers
  • Primary Care Physicians
  • Drug Enforcement Agency Officials
  • Rehabilitation Center Providers
  • Addiction Psychiatrists and Psychologists
  • Those Doing Remote Work
  • Recovery Services Staff
  • The Association for Addiction Professionals
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
  • Remote Work Association
  • Coalition, Community and Faith-based Organizations
  • County and City Departments of Mental Health Workers
  • Rehabilitation Center Officials
  • Academics and Researchers
This event was held on Tuesday, October 4th 2022.

Sponsorship and Exhibition Opportunities

If you’re interested in promoting your company, products and/or services at our events, please click here to enter your details and we will contact you directly. Alternatively, please call
+1424 258 9080 for more information.

How to Book

+1424 258 9080
bookings.at.publicpolicyexchange.com