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Posted on: July 27, 2022

Wellness Wednesday: The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Can Help With Addiction

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More than 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, the highest level on record, and more than 14 million Americans have an alcohol use disorder. You can help combat substance abuse by knowing what to look for, and you can lean on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) when you or someone you know needs help. 

Signs of Addiction 

Drug and alcohol addiction can happen to anyone, at any age. Substance use disorders occur when someone loses the ability to control their drug or alcohol use. Common signs include:

  • Failing to fulfill major obligations or losing interest in common activities.
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits.
  • Behavior changes for no real reason – becoming withdrawn, hostile, depressed, etc.
  • Problems in relationships with family or friends.
  • Overspending or stealing money to get drugs or alcohol.
  • Feeling the need to use drugs or alcohol regularly.

Addiction: What You Can Do

  • Be aware of substances you have at home. Lock up alcohol, prescriptions, and other substances. Keep them out of sight. Educate yourself about what substances are frequently abused. Watch for items that run out quickly, go missing, or end up in your trash.
  • Pay close attention to behavior changes. If you notice significant behavior changes like those listed above, share your concerns with family, friends, and your family doctor.
  • Talk with your family. Be truthful and open with your family; keep talking about it. Brainstorm situations showing how to say no to peer pressure. Make your kids aware of reasons why they might be more vulnerable to substance use disorder or addiction, such as family history.
  • Stay involved. Set clear rules. Be a good role model. Attend family events. Show you care, but let your loved ones know your limits are firm. Show them different ways to handle stress, express emotions, and have fun without alcohol or drugs.

Help is Available

If you or a covered dependent are struggling with drugs or alcohol, make an appointment to talk to your doctor as soon as possible. You can also contact the Employee Assistance Program for additional family support, free of charge, by calling 800-236-3231. The EAP also offers other family resources, such as:

  • Summer childcare and summer camp searches.  
  • Summer literature packets, such as information to plan family activities. 
  • Educational resources, such as college planning, career research, scholarships, and financial aid. 

Next Steps

Visit the following websites for more information and resources:

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