EAP briefs

MDs worry about criminalization of addictions • Employer Web site on mental health • Alcohol cost calculator for businesses • Who's becoming an addiction professional?

MDs worry about criminalization of addictions

— The federal government should shift its drug-fighting focus from punishing addicts to providing them with professional medical treatment, says Dana Hanson, president of the Canadian Medical Association. Hanson also said that while people with addictions should not receive criminal records, decriminalizing marijuana possession must come with a national drug strategy that discourages use and provides help.

Employer Web site on mental health

— The Ontario division of the Canadian Mental Health Association has created a Web site to provide employers and employees with tools to help deal with mental health in the workplace. “Mental Health Works” is found at www.ontario.cmha.ca/content/information_and_links/mental_health_works.asp.

Alcohol cost calculator for businesses

Washington, D.C.
— Want to know how much alcoholism costs an organization of your size in your sector? The United States advocacy group Ensuring Solutions has launched www.alcoholcostcalculator.org to help an employers determine the return-on-investment of treatment for alcohol-related problems. By entering the number of employees and the type of firm, a customized report on the probable number of staff with problems and the cost in terms of absences, illness and productivity is produced.

Who’s becoming an addiction professional?

Alexandria, Va.
— The 13,000 member-strong Association for Addiction Professionals in the United States surveyed new members and found people entering the field are most often female (70 per cent), white (78 per cent) and on average 42 years old. About 40 per cent of health professionals who have been in the field three years or less hold a master’s degree, and most said they were drawn to working in addiction treatment by a desire to help the community or through having friends or family with an addiction.

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