Health Partnership promotes Recovery Friendly Workplaces for Moffat County
The sobering facts of recovering from substance addiction are that those already struggling with individual health concerns also have to worry about their workplace. However, Moffat County business owners picked up vital information last month about how to help employees who may be going through this journey.
The Health Partnership and Craig Chamber of Commerce hosted a Lunch and Learn session March 30 as part of the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative.
The Health Partnership is a nonprofit organization that specializes in addressing and improving health issues in Northwest Colorado — Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties —and working with area health entities to better connect residents with necessary resources.
The recent session in Craig focused on how business owners across the community can support employees who are in recovery for drugs and alcohol.
Executive director Brittney Wilburn cited statistics from Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention’s RFW program that employees who problematically use substances are absent about 50% more than their coworkers. That difference amounts to an average of 24.6 days per year, according to the consortium’s information toolkit.
This can cost employers between $2,600 and $14,000 annually per employee between absenteeism, turnover, lost production, workplace injuries, and health care expenses.
“We want to provide employers with the tools they need to keep their business’ thriving,” Wilburn said. “One way to do that is to create workplace practices, policies and procedures that support employee wellness.”
The session detailed ways for employers to identify how they can aid employees experiencing substance use disorder recovery by understanding their needs and helping them improve their health while retaining their jobs.
Wilburn said she hopes area employers will reach out to The Health Partnership about more practices.
“We can help answer initial questions, connect employers to resources, and be a guide and mentor along the way,” she said. “We hope to create a Recovery Friendly Workplace-recognized logo for Northwest Colorado so our community can recognize workplaces that support individuals in substance use disorder recovery.”
Wilburn noted that issues including the housing crunch, inflation, and the COVID-19 public health emergency have impacted Northwest Colorado to add additional barriers to good health.
She said she was pleased with a solid turnout of business owners from Craig.
“Many of them already have informal support systems in place for staff who are struggling with substance use disorder,” she said.
Wilburn added that nearly everyone in a community is affected somehow by the health concern.
“The more we talk and share our personal experiences with SUD and create systems to support individuals, families, and our community, the stronger, more resilient our community becomes,” she said.
For more information on The Health Partnership, visit TheHealthPartnership.org or call 970-875-3630. For more information about the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative, visit corxconsortium.org/recovery-workplaces.
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