Online Class: Workplace Drug Use - An HR Guide

In this course, students will learn about workplace drug abuse and how it affects both the individual and business as well as learn the steps to recognize, respond and mitigate its worst consequences.

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  • 15
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  • 269
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  • 6
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Course Description

The devastating effects of substance abuse spread far and wide. In the United States alone, millions struggle with addiction and its long-lasting consequences. Many have come to view drug use as an epidemic that has claimed thousands of lives across the country. Addiction doesn't take a break, is without restrictions, and is an unbiased force. It seeps into every facet of their lives, and the lives of their family, friends, and peers.

Drug use in the workplace, as an aspect of substance abuse, is far more common than you would think. In this course, students will learn about workplace drug abuse and what it can do to a person and the business they work for. The course topics will be divided into two groups:


  1. The identifying aspects of substance abuse. These sections include the types of drugs a person can be addicted to and their effects. The history and causes of addiction, the legal status of addictive substances, and the warning signs of abuse will also be discussed.
  2. The effects of substance abuse in the workplace and what you can do about it. This will cover policies, programs, and other options available for both employers and employees of affected businesses.


This course is intended to be both an educational tool and a resource on substance abuse for those who need it. By the conclusion of the course, you should be prepared to respond, recognize, and act on instances of workplace drug abuse.

Let's get started!

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.8 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(620 votes)

Lesson 1: Employee Substance Abuse

The continued effects of substance abuse in recent years only has brought it closer to the forefront of the public’s mind. It is a problem that, rightfully, everyone needs to pay attention to. Additional lesson topics: Overview of Workplace Drug Abuse; Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use in the Workforce and Workplace; Myths and Facts about Substance Abuse; Addiction, Substance Abuse and the Workplace: An Approach that Works for Managers, Supervisors and Human Resources 46 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: Course Introduction and Goals
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Quiz

Lesson 2: Substance Abuse in Society

This lesson will look at the history of substance abuse and how it is seen from a legal perspective. Additional lesson topics: History and Context Of Substance Abuse; Legal Issues: Integrating Substance Abuse Treatment and Vocational Services; Is Your Practice Vulnerable to Employee Drug Abuse? What You Need to Know About Drug Screening in the Workplace: Rationale and Guidelines 225 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Quiz

Lesson 3: Drugs and Their Effect - Narcotics

While most of the narcotics that will be discussed are illegal to use, there are many legal narcotics that can be abused. Additional lesson topics: Narcotics: Drug Fact Sheet; Narcotic Pain Medications Opioids, Analgesics, Narcotics ; Trends and Statistics 45 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Quiz

Lesson 4: Drugs and Their Effect: Stimulants

This lesson will discuss the details of stimulants, including types, signs of usage, the side effects that users can experience, and how treatment and recovery works. Additional lesson topics: How do stimulants affect the brain and body?; What Are Stimulants?; Stimulant Addiction Treatment; Signs of Stimulant Abuse 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Quiz

Lesson 5: Drugs and Their Effect - Depressants

The lesson will look into the different types of depressants, how they are used in medical and non-medical settings, and what evidence of their usage you can see in a user. Additional lesson topics: What are Depressants?; Workplace Drug Use Statistics; Central Nervous System Depressants; Signs and Symptoms of Sedative Use 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Quiz

Lesson 6: Drugs and Their Effect: Hallucinogens

This lesson will look at the details concerning hallucinogens. Topics will include the types of hallucinogens, how they appear and are used, how to identify users, the side effects, and what to expect for treatment. Additional lesson topics: Hallucinogens: what are the effects?; Are Hallucinogens In Your Workplace?; Hallucinogens: Drug Abuse Signs and Symptoms; LSD Addiction in the Workplace; What Are Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs? 45 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Quiz

Lesson 7: Alcoholism in the Workplace

Alcoholism in the workplace is a major issue, more so in some aspects than other instances of substance abuse. Additional lesson topics: Short and Long Term Effects of Alcoholism; Addressing Alcoholism in the Workplace; When Does Moderate Drinking Become A Problem?; Am I Alcoholic Self Test; Identifying alcohol or drug abuse in the workplace; Alcoholism in the Workplace: A Handbook for Supervisors 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Quiz

Lesson 8: The Causes of Addiction

This lesson will look at the causes of addiction, including those that currently are known and a few theories that are being studied. Additional lesson topics: What are the underlying causes of drug addiction?; Psychological Causes of Addiction; Genetic and Environmental Factors in Addiction; Drug addiction risk factors 45 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Quiz

Lesson 9: Problems in the Workplace

Substance abuse is not limited to workers of certain industries and professions. Since the vast majority of people with substance abuse issues are, in fact, employed to some degree, it entirely is possible that addiction is present in your place of work. Additional lesson topics: Workplace Drug Abuse; Substance Abuse and Work Productivity; Consequences of Workplace Drug Abuse 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Quiz

Lesson 10: Solutions and Approaches to Substance Abuse

In this lesson, you will learn about what options are available when approaching substance abuse in the workplace. Additional lesson topics: The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace; Substance Abuse in the Workplace; The Effects of Substance Use on Workplace Injuries; Marijuana Use and Its Impact on Workplace Safety and Productivity 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Quiz

Lesson 11: Detection and Testing

Effective methods of detection can catch and potentially stop someone who is abusing drugs before they cause serious harm to themselves and their peers. Additional lesson topics: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction; Establish a Drug- and Alcohol-Abuse Prevention Policy; Federal Laws and Regulations 45 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Quiz

Lesson 12: Employee Assistance Programs

This lesson will discuss EAPs and what employers need to know about them. Topics will include the advantages and disadvantages of such a program in the workplace as well as what requirements are necessary. Additional lesson topics: Can Employers Test for Prescription Drugs?; Drug Testing Methods; Employee Drug Testing Pros and Cons 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Quiz

Lesson 13: Etiology of Employee Substance Abuse

The information gained from a disease’s etiology is incredibly valuable for researchers. It can be used to track its progress as a whole and predict future patterns. Additional lesson topics: Etiology of Alcohol and Other Drug Use: An Overview of Potential Causes; Seeking Drug and Alcohol Treatment for Employees; What professions have the highest rates of drug abuse?; Several Steps to Deal with an Employee's Substance Abuse Problem 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 Quiz

Lesson 14: Employees in Recovery

This lesson will look at what employers and employees can expect with recovery and its presence in the workplace. Topics will include actions that employers can take to help, resources for handling relapse, sobriety programs, and issues surround privacy. Additional lesson topics: Avoiding Common Triggers to Relapse; Your Guide to Addiction Recovery: Relapse Prevention; Hiring Employees In Recovery: A Business Advantage? 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 14 Quiz

Lesson 15: Additional Resources

In this final lesson, two specific additional resources for workplace drug abuse will be discussed. Additional lesson topics: Society for Human Resource Management or SHRM; NIAAA- Alcohol; NCADD or the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; SAMHSA or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; Advancing Addiction Science 375 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Lesson discussions: End of Course Poll; Course Comments; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Assessment: Lesson 15 Quiz
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe employee substance abuse.
  • Describe substance abuse in society.
  • Describe various classes of drugs and their effects.
  • Alcoholism in the Workplace
  • Summarize the causes of addiction.
  • Summarize solutions and approaches to substance abuse.
  • Summarize steps an employer can take for detection and testing for drug usage.
  • Determine employee assistance programs.
  • Describe etiology of employee substance abuse.
  • Summarize employees in recovery.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
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Course Title: Workplace Drug Use - An HR Guide
Course Number: 9770488
Lessons Rating: 4.8 / 5 Stars (620 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Last Updated: March 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.6 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Linda Zavadil
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $95.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "It was very helpful. Learned many things as far as how much help there is out there and just the different things with drugs and alcohol abuse as far as legal things, assistance, how to help someone, how to know if someone is using." -- Jesse G.
  • "Very good content and covered a broad of topics relevant to employee substance use." -- Mike L.
  • "It was quite informative." -- Patricia T.

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