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Starting with Policy: Addictions in the Workplace

February 25, 2015 | Vancouver Convention Centre

Facilitator: Dr. Ray Baker MD, FCFP, ABAM.
With a presentation by: Rebecca Gowan, Senior Policy Advisor, Human Rights Promotion Branch, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employees who misuse alcohol and other drugs and even those with early addiction will often show identifiable changes in attendance, performance and behaviour. Workplace impairment, whether caused by fatigue, stress, depression or drug intoxication or withdrawal requires immediate intervention and resolution.

Many prolonged cases of disability due to complex medical and psychiatric problems turn out to have, concealed under layers of symptoms of stress, depression or chronic pain, an underlying addictive disorder making effective disability management and safe sustainable return to work impossible. The purpose of this presentation is to explore opportunities for prevention, earlier identification, intervention and rehabilitation resulting in a healthier, safer, more productive workplace.

Dr. Baker will be joined by Rebecca Gowan, Senior Policy Advisor, Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC). She will present human rights guidelines for addressing drug and alcohol related issues in federally regulated workplaces. The CHRC’s new guidelines include a discussion of substance dependence as a disability; a human rights approach to drug and alcohol testing; and accommodating employees who are substance dependent.

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