What Is an EAP?
A Guide to Employee Assistance Programs for Substance Abuse
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EAP is an acronym that stands for Employee Assistance Program. An EAP is an employer-sponsored service that is designed to help employees deal with personal issues so they can continue to perform well at work and maintain their employment.
The primary goal of an Employee Assistance Program is to help an employee overcome his or her substance abuse problems with appropriate rehabilitation instead of firing them. EAPs also help employees manage other personal issues in addition to substance abuse so they can adequately cope, keep their job, and continue to be a valuable team member in the workplace.
EAPs are voluntary programs. Instances in which an employer can legally require an employee to use an EAP are very rare. Typically, an employee would choose to disclose an addiction or personal issue with his or her manager or HR department, and the employer would provide an EAP referral to address the work-related issues.
Using an EAP to Address Addiction and Other Personal Issues
Although EAP programs were originally intended to assist employees with mental health and substance abuse problems, they have since expanded to incorporate many other personal issues that can spill over into the workplace. Since many of these issues cause problems for employees and employers alike, an EAP is an ideal solution for both parties.
Many companies today offer EAPs and employees can utilize them at any time to receive free immediate assistance. There is a broad range of complex, personal issues that may affect an employee’s mental health, emotional well-being, and performance at work. Often times these include things like:
- Alcohol abuse or drug abuse
- Psychological disorders
- Marriage problems
- Emotional and/or physical abuse
- Financial or legal issues
Identifying and addressing issues like these with an EAP program can help employees regain their personal health and increase productivity and performance at work. Resolving these issues can also provide financial benefits for the employer, improvements in workplace culture, and enhanced productivity and efficiency.
Typical Services Provided by EAPs
Although the specific services provided by EAPs will vary based on the employer, many of these programs provide similar services. Examples may include:
- Referrals to substance abuse treatment programs
- Addiction treatment
- Direct counseling
- Basic legal assistance and referrals
- Elder care service referrals
- Adoption assistance
EAP services such as the ones listed above are also usually made available to the employee’s spouse, children, or a non-married partner living in the same household. If you have questions about your employer’s EAP services, contact your HR department for more information.
Verifying EAP Services With an Employer
If your employer offers an EAP, you may be able to reference your employee handbook for more information. If not, you should contact your company’s HR department. Remember, EAPs are designed to provide confidential services to help you maintain your employment while dealing with these issues. Your job security will not be compromised if you seek EAP assistance unless the law requires it.
Returning to Work After Completing Addiction Treatment
Depending on the employee’s circumstances and the employer’s EAP program, an employee may be allowed to continue working while they are enrolled in addiction treatment. In many cases, an employer may provide a temporarily adjusted work schedule to accommodate for this. Otherwise, an eligible employee may choose to take FMLA leave or short-term disability to enroll in a long-term residential treatment program.
Upon completion of the addiction treatment program, many EAP programs may also offer reintegration services to help employees transition back into a full or part-time work schedule and adjust accordingly.
If you have additional questions regarding EAPs for substance abuse treatment at Nova Recovery Center, please call to speak with an admissions representative or fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page. We will be in touch shortly.
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