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ASAM Responds to CDC RFI on Workplace Supported Recovery Programs

April 20, 2020

On April 13, ASAM submitted a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in response to a Request for Information (RFI) about Workplace Supported Recovery Programs. ASAM's letter addresses employer strategies to prevent substance use and the progression to substance use disorder among employees and supporting the process of recovery among employees with addiction.

The letter specifically recommends that employers:

  1. Develop workplace prevention and wellness programs as well as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to meet the needs of employees and affected family members.
  2. Ensure that all health insurance policies include coverage of services that target detection of and intervention against substance use, such as the utilization of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) approaches for unhealthy and harmful alcohol use. Health insurance policies should also cover the entire continuum of clinically effective and appropriate addiction treatment services provided by licensed and certified professionals, including all levels of care defined by The ASAM Criteria.
  3. Safeguard employee confidentiality for all who avail themselves of EAPs and medically indicated addiction treatment services.
  4. Avoid or eliminate policies that require employees to discontinue addiction treatment medications.
  5. Prohibit use of e-cigarettes in places where they prohibit smoking of combustible cigarettes.

Finally, the letter stresses that hospitals, health systems and other employers of healthcare professionals should be encouraged to implement policies and establish practices to support their healthcare professional employees in recovery. Healthcare professionals should be offered the full range of evidence-based treatments, including medication for addiction.

Read the RFI here. Comments are due July 27, 2020.

Read ASAM's full letter here.