2022 Substance Abuse Management Virtual Master Class

September 6-7, 2022 | 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM EST daily | Virtual

Register Today


Recent state regulatory developments regarding medical and recreational marijuana have created a complex web of compliance concerns for employers as they try to navigate drug testing policymaking and substance abuse management in the workplace. The vast majority of states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories have legalized the medical use of marijuana, while 18 now permit the use and sale of recreational cannabis products, and another half-dozen or more are likely to pass referenda legalizing recreational use in November 2022. At the federal level, President Biden and a bipartisan group of congressional members support legalization as part of his social justice initiatives, even possible use by veterans through the VA. Once this occurs, it will be the game-changer that will create new obligations for employers under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

A sweeping opioid abuse epidemic further compounds substance abuse prevention challenges, requiring that employers maintain a delicate balance among business objectives, employee rights, and ADA requirements. Many doctors are now recommending legal cannabis use as an alternative to opiates or addictive prescription drugs used for pain, sleep disorders, seizures, PTSD, depression and more. This raises corporate policy issues, in terms of what is permitted and what will be considered violative. The reimbursement for cannabis under many state worker’s compensation laws is yet another complication, including the impact on return-to-duty programs.

Overdoses in the workplace can also have Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implications, as can exposing workers to the perils of impaired coworkers or contractors. OSHA will also likely be changing its policy again on when employers can legally drug test injured workers post-accident, and expand upon its views of drug testing as potentially retaliatory under the OSH Act’s Whistleblower Protections provisions. There is also a growing trend as part of the “Total Worker Health” initiative to evaluate fitness for duty at a higher level, including examination of stress and fatigue, and implementation of mental health and psychological first aid programs to assist in responding to workers in distress from drugs, alcohol or other causes.

It’s in an employer’s best interest to be proactive on this issue. According to the National Safety Council, the estimated yearly economic impact of substance use disorders exceeds $400 billion. Employers in all industries assume a significant share of these costs in the form of absenteeism, increased healthcare expenses, lost productivity, and a higher risk of workplace injuries resulting from safety lapses. On the other end, each employee who recovers from a substance abuse disorder saves a company more than $3,200 a year.

This comprehensive substance abuse management virtual master class will provide practical information on and strategies to address these sensitive and increasingly prevalent workplace issues. Join this informative workshop to explore critical updates and effective methods for navigating substance abuse issues with your workforce.

You’ll learn:

  • Best practices and legal limits on drug testing;
  • Post-accident drug testing best practices and strategies to protect safety while avoiding retaliation scrutiny from OSHA;
  • How to address emerging safety, practical, and legal considerations surrounding medical and recreational marijuana use;
  • Steps you can take to address the health and safety concerns associated with both prescription and illegal opioids while respecting worker privacy under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other relevant laws; and
  • Ways you can leverage employee assistance plans and other benefit programs to prevent and combat addiction and provide resources to aid in recovery.

Industry Leading Speakers

  • Adele Abrams

    Esq., ASP, CMSP

    President, Law Office of Adele L. Abrams PC

Agenda At A Glance

September 6, 2022
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
How, When, and Why You Should Drug Test: Legal Limits on Policy Development and Enforcement
1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Post-Accident Drug Testing and Safety Incentive Programs: How to Comply with OSHA’s ‘Reasonable’ Reporting and Antiretaliation Provisions
2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Medical and Recreational Marijuana at Work: Multistate Updates for Emerging Compliance Obligations
3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Q&A with Presenter
September 7, 2022
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The Opioid Epidemic: Steps You Can Take to Manage Effects, Combat Worker Addiction, and Limit Your Legal Liabilities
1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
How Employee Programs, Including Workers’ Compensation, Employee Assistance Programs, and Total Worker Health Programs Can Help Employees Recover from Addiction
2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Substance Abuse: The ADA, FMLA, and Related State Laws
3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Q&A with Presenter