Workplace substance abuse training is a type of training that companies provide to help employees understand substance abuse and identify the signs of abuse or addiction. Training helps employers ensure a safe workplace for a business’s employees and their customers.
Substance abuse is a massive problem for employers. It’s not only extremely unhealthy for employees; it also causes decreased productivity and lower attendance at work. Substance abuse also generates substantial liability from employees who do things like operating machinery while under the influence of controlled substances. The average cost of a forklift accident, for example, can total $38,000 in direct costs and over $150,000 in indirect costs. Workplace training is provided by employers in order to reduce this liability and minimize the damage to the business of substance abuse by employees.
Workers who abuse controlled substances miss approximately 50% more work than those who don’t. We looked at more than a dozen human resource consultants and other training program providers before settling on our list of the best workplace substance abuse training companies.
The 5 Best Workplace Substance Abuse Training of 2020
Best Overall: 360Training
We picked 360Training as the best workplace substance abuse training provider because of their extremely flexible options. Training is easy to purchase and use. It’s also one of the most cost-effective options that meets the requirements of agencies like the Department of Transportation (DOT). 360Training started in 1997 and has more than three million customers worldwide.
Employee substance abuse training from 360Training consists of a one-hour module that costs $20 per person. 360Training teaches employees what signs to look out for that indicate drug or alcohol abuse so that they can help to keep their colleagues and coworkers safe. It also teaches companies how to implement an effective substance abuse policy and how to help employees who are abusing controlled substances.
Everything is accessible online where employees can access their training 24/7 and their license lasts for a year after purchase. 360Training also advertises customer service seven days per week for employees who need assistance.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Compliance Training Group
Compliance Training Group is a division of Employers Choice Online, a company that started in 2002 that, according to its website, “specializes in human resources and workplace compliance training services and products for executives, supervisors, and employees.” The company is our second choice because they also offer attractive pricing, easy online purchases, and easy employee website access to their courses.
Compliance Training Group offers a one-hour course about substance abuse awareness in the workplace that is designed for both employees and supervisors. The course costs $29.99 per person and it meets the 60-minutes of training required by the DOT. The license lasts for 30 days after purchase. In addition to online training, Compliance Training Group also offers webinars and on-site training for businesses that want more personalized training for employees.
Best Price: Oschmann Employee Screening Services
Oschmann Employee Screening Services was founded in 1996. The company is primarily an employee screening service with a special focus on several workplace training programs including training for drug and alcohol abuse. Oschmann screening seeks to find and keep great employees for businesses.
According to the company’s website, the workplace substance abuse training program offered by Oschmann “provides information concerning the effects of alcohol misuse and controlled substances abuse on an individual’s health, workplace, and personal life." This program is designed to cover not only the indicators of abuse or misuse of drugs and alcohol, but also to meet the training requirements of insurers that offer discounts on workers' compensation insurance for employers who decide to perform regular drug tests.
Oschmann’s website is a bit difficult to navigate, but programs can be purchased online. Courses for employees start at $9 per person but are $6 per person or less for companies with more than 500 employees. Oschmann also has employee training modules designed to meet criteria of specific agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and the United States Coast Guard.
In addition to employee training, Oschmann also offers new supervisor training that ranges from $32 to $44 per person depending on the number of licenses purchased. Supervisor refresher courses are also available from $21 to $29 per person.
Best Bulk Discount: National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance
The National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance (NDWA) is a division of the Drug Free America Foundation, a 501(c)(3) started in 1976 that is focused on preventing substance abuse around the world. We like how they work with businesses to keep the costs down when more employees go through the program.
NDWA is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida and, through a partnership with St. Petersburg College, offers substance abuse training for both employees and managers. NDWA’s course is all-online, accessible 24 hours per day, and allows employees to move through modules at their own pace. Employees who pass a course at the end of their test get a certificate of completion that can be printed or downloaded.
Substance abuse training from NDWA costs $15 to $25 per person depending on the number of employees who go through the training. Custom pricing is available for businesses with more than 100 employees going through the program.
Best All-Online Training for Supervisors: Visify
Visify offers substance abuse awareness training for supervisors, as well as a 30-minute module for employees. Visify’s DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training for Supervisors is specifically designed to help supervisors detect instances of substance abuse or addiction in employees so they can tell if someone isn’t fit for work.
This supervisor course on substance abuse training from Visify lasts two hours. It provides interactive content, real-world scenarios, and quizzes to test participants’ knowledge. The course costs $49 per person and users have access for 90 days after purchase. This course meets the DOT supervisor training requirements.
A safe working environment is not just the law, it is a way for employers to build stronger company morale by keeping everyone safe and healthy at work. When substance abuse enters the work environment, it damages many valuable parts of the company including relationships, equipment, and inventory. Workers may not perform optimally either, reducing production output and profitability.
Who Typically Needs Workplace Substance Abuse Training?
Substance abuse training is typically provided by human resource (HR) professionals or by third-party consultants hired by an HR department. HR professionals in some industries go through their own certification programs to be able to supply this training, while others prefer to outsource the training to independent companies.
Industries where workplace substance abuse training is often required include:
- Employees who operate machinery outside a company’s place of business, like trucking companies.
- Construction companies whose employees work with heavy machinery or in dangerous conditions.
- People who work on heavy machinery including aircraft mechanics.
- Transportation and livery companies.
This type of training is typically important for people who work on or operate heavy machinery. Even if employees are operating machinery under the close supervision of their managers, the training is still important to improve overall job and warehouse safety.
What Does Workplace Substance Abuse Training Typically Include?
Workplace substance abuse training counsels employees on the dangers of substance abuse both inside and outside the workplace. Programs are predominantly used to explain the dangers of substance abuse and train employees and managers on how to detect substance abuse in their co-workers. Employees are also taught how to document incidents and prevent substance abuse.
Most workplace substance abuse training programs include one or more modules that cover various topic areas such as identification or reporting. Modules are designed for different types of employees—staff workers go through certain modules and managers go through others designated for their needs. Many programs are specifically designed to meet compliance requirements for OSHA, DOT, and other agencies. Some even help companies to implement their own substance abuse policies and train employees on their respective policies.
What Does Workplace Substance Abuse Training Typically Exclude?
While substance abuse training for employees typically goes through the risks of substance abuse, the training isn’t an intervention. It isn’t designed to help rehabilitate employees who are already abusing controlled substances or suffering from addiction. It’s not counseling; it won’t provide employees with clinical diagnoses.
This training also doesn’t absolve employers of liability related to substance abuse incidents by their employees. The training just helps them cover their bases, train their workforce, and fulfill requirements set by government regulators.
What are the Expected Costs of Workplace Substance Abuse Training?
Workplace substance abuse training programs are priced on a per-person basis. Programs typically start at $20 per person but can cost less for companies that have multiple employees going through the training. While the best workplace substance abuse training is available online in self-paced modules, other programs can cost into the hundreds of dollars if employers want to opt for on-site training and other options.
How We Chose the Workplace Substance Abuse Training Companies
Workplace training comes in all shapes and sizes, but the best programs are easy to buy, accessible at any time, and flexible. Many also offer webinars and other options including on-site training. Transparent pricing and bulk discounts for multiple employees are also available.
To rank companies, we looked at pricing, course flexibility, and the availability of live resources such as live courses and customer service. We also considered what regulatory criteria the training fulfilled since many companies look for this training in order to fill requirements from the Department of Transportation (DOT) or other requirements.
Frone MR, Brown AL. Workplace substance-use norms as predictors of employee substance use and impairment: a survey of U.S. workers. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2010;71(4):526-534. doi:10.15288/jsad.2010.71.526
J-tec Industries. Mode X 2018 presentation. “Championing the Inevitable Transformation in Materials Movement.” Accessed July 12, 2020.
National Safety Council. “Implications of Drug Use for Employers.” Accessed July 12, 2020.