Recovery Outcomes - Your workplace will be more profitable when you manage an employee addiction

Empowering both the employer and employee

Recovery Outcomes aims to assist and manage alcohol and drug-related problems, by offering professional assessment and interventions for a spectrum of substance use disorders. We couple this with an awareness of the needs and rights of both the employee and employer. Alcohol and other substance use disorders are a significant threat to the profitability and risk management of any South African employer. The burden of harm (which is often underestimated) was estimated at R 17 billion in 2009.

Why focus on substance use in the workplace?

  • The percentage of employees who misuse alcohol or drugs, parallel the high rate of substance-related problems in South Africa as a whole. This applies to employees at all levels of a company
  • The workplace offers an ideal place for addressing substance misuse – both the employer and employee have much to gain
  • The legislation requires that the employer manages risk in the workplace (including the risk posed by intoxication). It also states that an employee who requests treatment for a substance use disorder must be accommodated

Both the employer and employee can benefit:

For the employee:

  • better recovery outcomes by treating addiction as a chronic disorder
  • safeguarding work
  • better health, family relationships, general wellbeing…

For the employer:

  • better recovery outcomes by treating addiction as a chronic disorder
  • holding onto expertise, rather than terminating employment
  • regular reports if agreed to by the employee (professional standards of confidentiality are maintained)
  • effective management of high-risk employees
  • pooled outcome data
The Recovery Outcomes intervention system offers the expertise of HPCSA registered clinicians who have extensive experience in the field of substance use problems. These clinicians work with a prominent network of addiction units and treatment centres.

Our programme incorporates the following:

Compliance with best evidence treatments. While there is evidence of the effectiveness of a number of treatments for substance dependence, including the use of medication and counselling, a study of over 100 treatment studies revealed that only 40 – 60% of patients remained abstinent at one year. A further 15 – 30% used substances non-addictively. However, outstanding outcomes have been achieved in Physician Health Programmes in the USA. These programmes combine the leverage of loss of licence with treatment, recovery support, abstinence monitoring. They also are making use of increasingly sophisticated IT systems to track and perform online reporting. A continuing care approach that acknowledges the chronic relapsing nature of substance use problems. The typical treatment for substance use disorder is a three-week initial intervention. However, best outcomes have clearly been associated with those who instead stay in continuing treatment. The same approach used for treating other chronic illnesses such as asthma, hypertension, and diabetes. A stepped care model of treatment which matches the severity of substance use, and the individual’s needs, to the appropriate intervention.

To discuss your employee’s treatment options, or to enquire about them joining the Recovery Outcomes Programme:

If you would like more information on what the Recovery Outcomes Programme provides:


Alcohol is the fourth leading cause of death in the USA (NIAAA)

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