A new law (via HB 1007) requires the state’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) – a branch of Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) – to establish best practice guidelines to assist employers with employees who agree to participate in a drug education and addiction treatment program.

DMHA is also to promote voluntary participation by employers and develop and deliver informational and training resources for employers on: substance abuse, signs and symptoms, appropriate treatment options and addiction recovery, relapse and how to manage it. In addition, the legislation allows for employers to require participation in a drug treatment program as a condition of employment and to not be held liable for a civil action alleging negligent hiring as a result of the employee’s addiction.

This week, we hosted the director of DMHA, who met with members of the Indiana Chamber Health Care Policy Committee to discuss plans of implementation and a timeline. The division is at the point of sending out a RFP for a third party to develop the program guidelines and to assist with reporting requirements. DMHA is expected to implement the program sometime this fall.

The Indiana Chamber hopes to partner with DMHA to roll out the program in a road show once all the elements are in place. In the same timeframe, the Chamber’s Indiana Workforce Recovery initiative within the Wellness Council of Indiana will establish and share best practices and program guidelines to help employers address the harmful use of substances in the workplace. The goal of the Indiana Workforce Recovery initiative is to educate and support employers in creating a drug-free workplace, with a focus on the implementation of these policies:

  • including mental health and substance abuse in their health care coverage
  • expanding drug testing to include opioids
  • supporting treatment, including comprehensive EAP (employee assistance program) services, and establishing a return-to-work program
  • training managers to recognize and respond to substance abuse issues

Resource: Mike Ripley at (317) 264-6883 or email: [email protected]