Beyond Prevention: Why Your Workplace Needs a Supported Recovery Program

Victoria’s Voice is dedicated to fighting substance use disorder (SUD) through our impactful Get. Give. Save. campaign. While prevention is a crucial pillar of our mission, we also recognize the importance of supporting those already on the path to recovery. This is where Workplace Supported Recovery (WSR) programs come in.

What is a WSR Program?

Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), WSR programs are a set of evidence-based practices that create an environment where employees struggling with SUD can thrive. WSR programs go beyond prevention:

  • Reduce workplace hazards: They identify and address workplace stressors that might trigger relapse.
  • Increase support: They offer resources and support systems that help employees maintain recovery.
  • Facilitate reintegration: They create a smooth path for employees returning from treatment to rejoin the workforce productively.
  • Promote overall well-being: They foster a culture of health and wellness for all employees.

Why Should Your Workplace Implement WSR?

There’s a compelling case for businesses to invest in WSR programs. Here’s how they benefit both employers and employees:

  • Reduced absenteeism and presenteeism: SUD often leads to missed workdays and decreased productivity when employees are at work. WSR programs help employees manage their condition, leading to better attendance and engagement.
  • Improved employee well-being: A supportive work environment fosters mental and physical health, leading to a happier and healthier workforce.
  • Enhanced talent pool: WSR programs open doors to a wider pool of qualified candidates, including those in recovery.
  • Positive company culture: WSR programs demonstrate your commitment to employee well-being, fostering loyalty and attracting top talent.
  • Reduced healthcare costs: Early intervention and recovery support can significantly reduce healthcare costs associated with SUD.

WSR: Supporting Prevention Efforts

WSR programs aren’t only about supporting those already in recovery; they also play a vital role in preventing future cases by creating a culture of awareness and understanding around SUD:

  • Reduce stigma: Employees feel more comfortable seeking help if they know they won’t be judged.
  • Promote early intervention: Early detection and treatment are key to successful recovery. WSR programs encourage employees to seek help before problems escalate.
  • Normalize recovery: When recovery is a supported and acknowledged journey, it sends a powerful message that SUD is a treatable condition.

How to Get Started with WSR

Victoria’s Voice is here to help you implement a WSR program. Here are some initial steps:

  1. Educate yourself and your leadership team: Learn about WSR principles and best practices. The CDC provides valuable resources at
  2. Develop a comprehensive program: Tailor your program to your company’s size and needs. This might include confidential resources, flexible work arrangements, and peer support networks.
  3. Train managers and supervisors: Empower leaders to recognize SUD signs and symptoms and provide appropriate support and referrals.
  4. Communicate openly: Educate employees about WSR programs and create a comfortable environment for open communication about substance use.

Beyond Prevention: Building a Supportive Workplace

Building a recovery-supportive workplace is not just the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. By implementing a WSR program, you invest in the well-being of your employees, create a positive and inclusive work environment, and attract top talent. Together, we can create workplaces that not only prevent substance use disorder, but also empower those on the path to recovery. Victoria’s Voice stands with you on this journey. Remember, Get. Give. Save. isn’t just a slogan—it’s a call to action. Let’s work together to build a future free from SUD.

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