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Request for information about Developing a Workplace Supported Recovery Program: A Strategy for Assisting Workers and Employers with the Nation’s Opioid and Substance Use Disorder Epidemics

February 2020

NIOSH Docket Number 333, CDC-2020-0001

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announced an opportunity to provide information and comments on a plan to develop resources and conduct research on the topic of Workplace Supported Recovery to assist workers and employers facing the nation’s crisis related the misuse of opioids and other drugs, and related substance use disorders.

In a Workplace Supported Recovery Program (WSRP), employers use evidence-based policies and programs to reduce the risk factors associated with initiating substance misuse and the progression to a substance use disorder and take steps to assist workers in recovery in staying at work or returning to work. NIOSH is interested in comments related to WSRPs from a variety of stakeholders, including employers, labor unions, workers, researchers, treatment providers, and government agencies at all levels (federal, state, territorial, local, and tribal). Comments on the following questions are especially helpful:

General Questions:

  1. What elements, attributes, activities, and resources should be involved in a Workplace Supported Recovery Program (WSRP)?
  2. How do the elements, attributes, activities and resources that make up WSRPs vary by industry and establishment size?
  3. What WSRPs or related approaches are you aware of? Do any of these programs have evaluation or other outcome measures available?
  4. Are you aware of any programs that may help employers fund or otherwise develop WSRPs? If so, what are they?
  5. What information is available about possible benefits for employers in hiring and/or retaining workers who are in recovery from substance misuse or a substance use disorder?
  6. What are the biggest concerns, fears, or challenges around WSRPs?
  7. What training related to this effort would be of value to managers/supervisors? To workers?

Questions about Workplaces

  1. Does your organization have policies in place to address substance misuse and substance use disorder and, if so, what are they? (e.g., pre-employment drug testing, hiring, dismissal, disability, medical leave, benefits and Fair Labor Standards Act issues)
  2. Which parts of your organization are involved in issues related to substance misuse or substance use disorders among your workers? (e.g., employee bargaining units, occupational health, safety department, human resources department, EAP or Employee Assistance Program)

Questions About Workplaces with a Recovery Program in Place

  1. What services are offered as part of the program?
  2. Are any of these services available to employees dealing with the substance use disorder of another person, such as a spouse/partner, child, parent, or close friend? If so, what are they?
  3. What major challenges and successes has your program had?

To view the notice and related materials, visit  and enter CDC-2020-0001 in the search field and click “Search.”