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Zack Hutchins
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September 3, 1999 

Council joins state agency to promote employee assistance programs

To promote a healthier, more productive workforce, The Council and the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) are promoting September as "Recovery Month."

The joint campaign seeks to increase collaboration among addiction services providers, employee assistance programs (EAPs), and local business groups.

"A healthy, dedicated workforce is absolutely essential for business success," Daniel B. Walsh, president of The Business Council, and Jean Somers Miller, OASAS commissioner, said in a joint letter announcing the campaign.

One in 10 workers has a problem with alcohol and other drugs, which leads to higher rates of absenteeism, accidents, illnesses, grievances and disciplinary cases, the letter noted.

This drives up costs for training new workers, health insurance, and workers' comp and unemployment insurance-costs that businesses and consumers ultimately bear, the letter added.

Miller and Walsh cited studies showing that employer investments in EAPs and addiction treatment can help productivity, quality, and morale, while saving insurance and other costs.

Campaign kits provide basic facts about the human and economic costs of substance abuse in the workplace and employer successes dealing with abuse.

EAPs will be a focus of the next meeting of The Council's Labor and Human Resources Committee Oct. 7 in Buffalo. The campaign kits will be available at that meeting.