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New National Research From Fors Marsh Calls for Urgent Employer Action to Support Workers in Recovery

ARLINGTON, Va., March 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Urgent action is needed to combat America's addiction crisis, and the workplace can play a significant role in this fight. Findings from Fors Marsh's 2022 Workplace Recovery Survey reveal that employers can serve as a crucial support system for employees who are in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). The report outlines actionable data and recommendations that organizational leaders and human resources personnel can use immediately to assess the extent to which their employees are aware of and feel safe seeking support. With one in 11 U.S. employees living with SUD and a similar number in recovery, the data underscore the need for urgent action among employers to create a recovery-friendly workplace environment.

The survey identifies compelling data and actions that have an immediate effect on recovery support in the workplace.

Fors Marsh, a Certified B Corporation, released the findings as the company's most recent step in its multiyear investment to drive change in our nation's support of those battling addiction and in recovery from SUD. The inaugural survey data can help government agencies, nonprofits, employers, and employees reduce workplace barriers that might interfere with substance use recovery. Fors Marsh is currently convening key stakeholders who represent employers, unions, human resources administrators, and regulatory agencies to design unified guidelines and policies for improving recovery readiness in the workplace. Readers can download a full copy of the report here.

"Recovery-friendly workplaces are vital to people living with SUD, and employees in recovery are vital to thriving businesses," said Ben Garthwaite, Fors Marsh's CEO. "The workplace is too often overlooked as an essential source of support to the over 14 million U.S. workers in recovery. Our research lays bare the role business leaders can and must play to close this gap." The survey identifies compelling data and relevant actions that can have an immediate effect on recovery support in the workplace:

The National Drug Control Strategy released by the White House last year listed building a recovery-ready nation as one of its principal objectives and outlined specific actions to "expand employment opportunities and promote recovery-ready workplace policies." The 2022 U.S. Surgeon General's Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being highlights critical components of a healthy workplace, such as protection from harm, connection and community, and work?life harmony. Findings from Fors Marsh's Workplace Recovery Survey are consistent with both the Strategy and the Framework and reinforce the importance of healthy workplaces as a valuable source of support for people in recovery.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) administers federal programs that support community organizations working to help people in recovery.  Tom Coderre, SAMHSA's acting deputy assistant secretary for mental health and substance use, said, "Enabling workers in recovery to thrive in jobs with employer support will save lives and reduce suffering, sickness, and absenteeism, and it turns out it's also great for business. Fors Marsh's data affirms the general direction and priority that SAMHSA has placed on workplace recovery support are, in fact, needed."

The survey makes it clearer that in addition to government initiatives, business leaders have an urgent and critical role to play. Employment is essential for recovery from SUD, and workplace support leads to a healthier workforce, increases employee engagement, and makes companies stronger and more profitable. "Our goal is to mobilize businesses to join in the broader effort to improve recovery services in the workplace," said Garthwaite. "By taking the simple, inexpensive steps identified in the survey recommendations to improve their recovery profile, companies in all fields will increase their recruiting options, boost employee performance, satisfaction, and retention, and strengthen their bottom line."  

About Fors Marsh, LLC

For over 20 years, Fors Marsh has grown into a data-driven research and strategy firm. The company uses research to address important challenges such as supporting substance use disorder recovery, reducing suicides, tracking sexual harassment rates, and helping communities prepare for potential natural disasters. Our 400 employees practice transparency, measurement, and accountability. From public health campaigns to policy analysis, Fors Marsh relies on evidence to create solutions that improve outcomes for people. As a cohesive team of researchers, advisors, and communicators working to shape the systems that shape our lives, Fors Marsh is intentional about taking on work and forming partnerships that balance purpose, people, planet, and profit. 

Lauren Johnson
Tim Sullivan
202 276 9191 
[email protected]

SOURCE Fors Marsh

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