Oct. 20-26 is National Drug-Free Work Week

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the 2008 national Drug-Free Work Week takes place Oct. 20-26 to educate employers, employees and the general public that being drug-free is an essential component of a safe and healthful workplace.

"Drug-Free Work Week is a good time to remind employers and employees that reducing workplace substance abuse is a crucial part of keeping workers safe," said Elena Carr, drug policy coordinator at DOL. "Of course, in a safe and healthful workplace, every week should be drug free."

According to studies conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions, an estimated 14.1 percent (17.7 million) of working adults in the U.S. used illicit drugs in the previous year, with an estimated 3.1 percent (3.9 million) actually doing so before reporting to work or during working hours.

Now in its third year, the annual campaign is a collaborative effort organized by DOL, members of its Drug-Free Workplace Alliance and other public and private sector organizations devoted to safe and healthy workplaces. All employers and employees are encouraged to participate in recognizing Drug-Free Work Week.

Throughout the week, DOL, alliance members and others will conduct activities to help employers, supervisors and workers understand how to implement effective drug-free workplace programs that focus on detection and deterrence, while also offering assistance and support for workers who may have substance abuse problems. Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in Drug-Free Work Week and ways they can promote drug-free workplace messages – during the campaign and throughout the year – by visiting http://www.dol.gov/drugfreeworkweek.

This Web site includes the Drug-Free Work Week Tool Box, which contains drop-in articles, print public service announcements and other materials to assist organizations in promoting the campaign. Since the first Drug-Free Work Week in 2006, 25 national organization planning partners have joined the effort, indicating increased grassroots support for the campaign's goal of eliminating drugs in the workplace.

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