Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Educate DOT Supervisors about K2 (Spice)

The U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines do not require that a synthetic drug called "K2" or Spice--and its symptoms of use or effects of use--be part of the DOT reasonable
suspicion training course that you might offer. And it won't be screened in a urine test.

But I recommend supervisors give it few slide frames of education because this stuff does affect the workplace, in fact, the U.S. Army is swimming in Spice/K2 problems, at least on some installations.

A recent story in a local newspaper in the town of Sioux Falls, ND discussed how a baby sitter left a 8 week old baby outside accidentally for 18 hours while high on K2--in the rain! She survived. But if you want unpredictable behavior, insanity, and at-risk employee in your workplace, this is the drug that delivers.

K2 is often called synthetic pot or marijuana. Who knows why the call it that. A look at the literature does not see much. It appears that the substance, rolled in cigarette paper or smoked in a pipe resemble the look and feel of marijuana, but smoking it is another experience entirely. K2 or Spice has nothing to with THC -- the active ingredient in POT. K2 is actually made from a bunch of crazy-ass chemicals that are sprayed on smoke-able material.

K2 is another name for synthetic marijuana. It's made from a variety of man-made chemicals and can be sprayed onto dried plant material to be smoked or it can be sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled. The important message is that the user is not going to have the same experience as smoking pot. The reason is obvious.  K2 Spice or synthetic marijuana is not pot. It junk of the worst order.

The agitation after smoking Spice can be enormous. The first symptoms are elevated mood, feeling relaxed, can finally alternate reality that will freak you out. Your heart might feeling like it beating itself to death, you may vomit. You may have a relaxed feeling, but one trip to YouTube to see people using Spice/K2, and you will be convinced otherwise that this drug is bad news. Paranoia, hallucinations, yep, everything comes with this smoke-able trash.

The chemicals that make up Spice/K2 don't even have names--just their chemical codes. Spice/K2 was legal at one point in time nationwide, now most are attempting to outlaw it.

​Alcohol Awareness Training to Meet DOT: Don't Make It All about Signs and Symptoms

​Alcohol Awareness Training to Meet DOT: Don't Make It All about Signs and Symptoms: Alcohol Training for DOT Supervisor Training, What to Include.

This blog post is about Alcohol Awareness Training for DOT Supervisors and going a bit further in explain the illness and treatment to inspire motivation and reduce enabling. We have discover over the years that more education about the disease actually does more to inspire supervisors to act rather than continue to cover up.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What Reasonable Suspicion Training Online Should Include So Supervisors Don't Snooze.......ZZZ

If DOT supervisor training for reasonable suspicion of drug and alcohol abuse is going to be effective, then one thing's for sure: 1) Supervisors must watch the program and 2) Supervisor must remember what they saw.

Oh, sure - you can get supervisors trained pretty easily, but will they act on what they were supposed to learn, when necessary, to intervene and refer a drug user or drunk employee to testing? That, indeed, is the question.

With these issues in mind, let's discuss several key ingredients of effective supervisor training that together will give you the best shot of keeping someone from getting killed in or outside of your organization as a result of alcohol misuse and drug abuse by a worker.

image of examples of dot supervisor training videos, powerpoint, DVD, and Web Courses
Restricted Training Program
Regarding online reasonable suspicion training, a restricted training program is a must. It is designed to maximize engagement to supervisors don't fall asleep

It must also be manual. No auto-playing like a movie.  It must be engaging, and frames must be clicked manually to advance the course. This forgoes sleeping. It does not run like a movie so the learner can snooze until the end. No way. Many DOT supervisor training programs for drug and alcohol course completion do, so guard against purchasing a program that allows nap time. (I know, I bet I am the only one talking about this. Guess why. I have been training and creating DOT courses for 20 years. I have seen it all.)

The web course should force the learner to click each frame, and the course must have two hours of content -- no not necessarily all of it audio-visual--in fact, definitely not. I will discuss this below.

Multi-Educational Elements -- Don't Use a Course with All Audio-Visual Content

Many DOT reasonable suspicion training courses have two hours of audio-visual content running as shown above in a video presentation. I have discussed the downside of this type of course, but let's be honest, employees will doze in front of such training. The motto: "Wake me up when it is over."

To prevent this, as stated, you must force engagement. But another part of this is multi-educational elements that go a step further to reduce risk in your organization.

You training become "sticky" when you have numerous ways to absorb the information: audio, visual, manual engagement, educational test questions, and printable, take-away handouts that supervisors keep, use later, refer to, and refresh their memories with months and years after training.

Since supervisor training for DOT supervisors is not required but ONE TIME -- they must walk away with resources that will help them act when necessary. 

Alcoholism Education--Make It Intensive, and Scientifically Based

Alcohol abuse, alcoholism, addiction, and addictive disease (ditto drug abuse) are confusing terms, completely embedded in mythology, centuries of arguments, family history, and more. It's a real mess. Everyone you know including your mother can tell you what any of them means. But most are wrong.

These terms in one form or another have been around 7,000-8,000 years since beverage alcohol was discovered in the form of wine by the Chinese. Luckily there has been enormous research on genetics to explain alcoholism, its cause, who is at risk, and why the disease is acquired.

If you do not punch hard at these issues, you will have supervisors walking way from the course completely unmoved in their fast held beliefs, which are usually completely wrong.

These beliefs, most of which are rooted in morality, will power, too much alcohol abuse, character, religious issues, and personality disorder-related myths and false models of causation, interfere with behaviors of a supervisor. As I author this post, a new study related to genetics that predicts alcoholism has just been released. You can see it here. Alcoholism is not an equal opportunity illness. It sounds clever, but the truth is some people will never become alcoholic no matter how much that attempt to drink. They will get sick, throw up, become adverse to drinking. They just don't the the genetic constitution to become addicted. Others will become alcoholic beginning with their first drink.

There are other elements to help make training more effective. But the most important common denominator of the above issues is that none of them are required by the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations governing training of alcohol and drug abuse of DOT Supervisors.

I will continue with these other issues in an additional post soon.

to prevent the supervisor-participant from skipping frames of the course, jumping to the test, completing it, and walking away without learning a thing.

 Get reasonable suspicion training now or see the full course for free..

Monday, November 13, 2017

DOT Supervisor Training Requirements for the DOT Supervisor Training Certificate

Many of you are asking about the DOT Supervisor Training Requirements and the need for a DOT Supervisor Training Certificate. I have faster way of explaining this with the graphic shown below. Feel free go ahead see the full DOT Drug and Alcohol Program without cost or obligation at in case you are looking for such training. You can get training for ONE SUPERVISOR or own the program in any format like PowerPoint, DVD, Web Course, or Video.

You will find this full graphic DOT TRAINING DECISION FLOW CHART HERE.

graphic for DOT training flow of reasonable suspicion training
Click here to see the full document of this flow chart above.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Reasonable Suspicion Training Topic: Throw in Some News and Information on Teen Substance Abuse

We know that the U.S. Department of Transportation does not require that mandatory alcohol and drug education

Teen substance abuse for DOT Supervisor Training

for DOT supervisors include information like teen drug abuse, enabling,
or even job performance related information associated with employee
substance abuse -- except of course, how these might affect psycho-motor
skills. In other words, discussing absenteeism is not even relevant if
you read the regulations.

Obviously, your training needs more
than what the DOT recommends. If not, you're going to fall short of
motivating DOT supervisors to act on the drug-free workplace policy if
they stay awake, that is. And, this is the goal, correct--acting to
refer to testing if signs and symptoms of substance abuse are demonstrated by reasonable suspicion?

Reasonable Suspicion Training Topic: Throw in Some News and Information on Teen Substance Abuse

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Let DOT Supervisors Understand How Treatment Works to Prevent Sabotage By Their Provocative Statements

Addiction is a highly treatable illness. But there is a lot more to this success than just sobering up a patient. Five elements are critical or you can forget it. 2) is treatment after 1) detox. Treatment is not psychotherapy. It is education about staying sober and not picking up a drink. There is a lot to this this process.

The most important skill is awareness of defense mechanism and how they operate to

Train supervisors to be effective in identifying possibly intoxicated employees
destroy sobriety. Then there is 3)  aftercare--more education. And then their is 4) Alcoholics Anonymous participation--yes for every patient. Why? Because it is the best path to sustained recovery. It works best for most. The argument that AA is not needed because it is too "religious" is totally BS. AA is flat out the only way to go in my 33 year history of working with addicts. And I am not alcoholic. I have worked in five addiction treatment settings.

I can argue against anyone's idea that AA is not the best way to go. I have every argument ever posed against AA. AA is flat out absolutely the best path for recovery. Success rates consistently approach 70-80% with good follow up by EAPs and providers post treatment. A short relapse is possible with any addict, but people can climb right back into sobriety with aggressive follow up that catches it early. DOT reasonable suspicion training should educate supervisors about the treatment process to de-mystify it. If this does not happen, they are at risk for provocative statements that can undermine recovery.

 Employees general recover well, and frequently become better than well.  Some drug addictions are tougher to treat, like cocaine addiction. 5) Is telephone follow up to identify diminishing recovery behaviors early. The phone call should be once per month for two years. When the patient reports moving from 4-5 AA meetings per week to 2-3, a personal interview with the recovering alcoholic is immediately needed as a intervention step prior to the first drink.

Early action by DOT supervisors in response to job performance problems increases the rate by which addicts are helped due to earlier referral to employee assistance programs.  Symptoms of addiction that the average untrained individual may easily associate with a drinking or drug problem may not appear in the workplace until 15-20 years after the diagnosis exists. Experience  a full preview our DOT Supervisor training here.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

DOT Supervisor Training for Purchase By Employers to Meet Drug and Alcoh...


Friday, October 6, 2017

Drug Awareness Training on Substance Abuse Material Must Grab Supervisors' Misconceptions

Drug Awareness Training Material is something that most employers want to get right once they have decided to start training their employees and upper management on substance abuse in the workplace.

There are many different options to train workers and supervisors, so it can be overwhelming to determine what will work best, especially for DOT Supervisor Training where specifics are mandatory for these positions. The bottom line: You want supervisors acting on what they learn. Well, there are only a couple ways to ensure this happens . . .

Monday, October 2, 2017

DOT Supervisor Training: Part 1 of 5: Myths and Misconceptions that Don't Match Reality -- One of Five Ways Supervisors Cover Up, Enable, and Sabotage Drug Free Workplace Programs

Bill possesses a lot myths about alcoholism, he is probably alcoholic given the anecdotal information, and he has set himself up to avoid confrontation of employees he supervises.

Bill is an at-risk supervisor. He can be educated about substance abuse, but he needs to learn much more than the DOT regulations require. And if you have Bill on your staff, you need proper drug and alcohol training for supervisors that talks about these sorts of behaviors. They increase risk.

We learn about alcoholism early in life, but may not have an accurate clue about what it actually is and what causes it. Research has determined these things.

We learn from word of mouth, TV, and from our own experience in our families. In many ways, those who have had alcoholic family members are the most at-risk DOT supervisors because they will typically have the most rigid and unshakeable beliefs about addiction -- usually wrong.

It’s not their fault. They are victims of misinformation and about 5000 years of confusion associated with alcoholism and drug addiction. READ MORE

Friday, September 29, 2017

Employee Assistance Programs: Understand the Faragher/Ellerth Affirmative Defense

Employee Assistance Programs: Understand the Faragher/Ellerth Affirmative Defense: Employee assistance programs can promote EAP, grow value, expand program offerings, and improve utilization by understanding the Faragher/Ellerth Affirmative Defense

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Loss of Control? Why DOT Supervisor Training Should Discuss It

Loss of control is a hallmark of addiction and addictive disease. Why do DOT supervisors need to know about this biological reality? The answer is simple. It helps them detach themselves from myths and misconceptions so they can act on the drug free workplace policy. Loss of control means much more than going to a party and being unable to stop drinking once you stop, which is rare for even most alcoholics.
Social drinkers can consistently predict their ability to control all the factors shown above, including their decision to over use alcohol, or get drunk. DOT Supervisors will often have social opportunities in which their employees off the job use alcohol. Getting drunk does not mean your an alcoholic it simply means you abused alcohol (and yourself.) Here's something to think about:  Getting drunk is a choice for the social drinker.  It is a symptom of the disease for the alcoholic. Once a DOT Supervisor is able to wrap their head around this paradigm shift in understanding alcohol and its effects, big things happen.
As the disease progresses, most alcoholics will eventually discover maintenance drinking.  This is an attempt by the alcoholic to consume alcohol at a rate and frequency capable of helping him or her maintain a certain blood alcohol level to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
That is why we discuss this concept in the DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training Program

Friday, September 8, 2017

Intervening with an Alcoholic: New Methodology that Will Make You an Unstoppable Intervention Force for Treatment

Start here:

You can get intervention guidance by phone, but first start with this video. Phone 1-800-626-4327 after viewing the video above

Did you know that thousands of people are admitted to drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs every day in the U.S. and that 99.99% of them are voluntary admissions without any prompting or help by professional counselors who claim to be family intervention specialists?

The television and even healthcare marketers would have you believe that you can't do an intervention yourself, and that you need them to educate you and also be present at the intervention to guide everyone so the meeting is effective in motivating the alcoholic or drug addict to accept help through an intense emotional appeal by visibly moved and desperate people. This is nonsense. You can learn intervention fairly easily and become a force to be reckoned with that leads the alcohol or drug addict to accept treatment.

This new approach to teach people how to do interventions is called the Family Empowerment Model created by Daniel Feerst, MSW, LISW-CP.

This approach to intervention is teachable, and relies upon the power of influence and leverage, which are naturally occurring forces existing in all relationships. Intervention education has its purpose in helping you discover the influence and leverage afforded in the family or friend group that you share with others who are concerned about the welfare of a loved one who is alcoholic.

To begin an intervention by group discussion, first what this video above, and then phone 1-800-626-4327. We do charge a fee for what is typically a two hour phone conversation that will require to meetings. We work with families or businesses.

Start here:

I'm Not Drinking! It's Mouthwash, Man!

employee telling supervisor that he is smelling perfume not alcohol
Perfume with Alcohol = Alcohol in Perfume.
Once you have completed DOT Supervisor Training, the fun begins.

The last time you went to Walmart and bought some medicine, did you notice that it smelled like booze on your Uncle's breath? No, it did not.

There is no medicine sold at Walmart that will smell like booze. Yet, this is one of the most common of excuses given by employees for explaining alcohol on their breath.

There are dozens of excuses associated with employees who are confronted for reasonable suspicion of using substances on the job. Many are highly creative. However, most are not original, except to the alcoholic him- or herself, who thinks they sound pretty good. To make them sound even more believable, a lot of added emotion is typically injected into the explanation you'll hear. Shouting and intimidation are also typical garnishments designed to help you accept the excuse more readily.

Reasonable suspicion training requires understanding this information, which is why we are the only DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training Program in the USA that includes this educational information -- unless of course -- this content was "borrowed" from us. We're pros in what we produce. Not freelance authors. Trench work is our background, not library research.

Two common excuses you will hear from employees are similar - 1) I'm not drinking, it's mouthwash; and 2) "I'm not drinking, it's medicine."

You will discover that the degree to which employees are emphatic about the nature of the substance you are smelling, the more inclined you will be to believe them. This is because you are hard-wired to except excuses that sound plausible because life is easier if you do not have to confront your employee and require them to be tested. Don't fall for it.

Most people don't know that alcohol is put into cough syrups. Some have 25% alcohol, which is enough to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Although most alcoholic in withdrawal will not drink cough syrup, a percentage have, and some alcoholic women have even consumed perfumes or colognes containing alcohol. If you visit an open AA meeting (or a closed AA meeting if you are a member of AA) you will eventually hear about perfume drinkers.

But for the alcoholic on the job, admitting to consuming anything with alcohol in it gives you reasonable cause to request a test. The same is true with medicines or mouthwashes. Reasonable cause is determined and based upon what you are smelling, not what the employees tells you the substance you are smelling is. DOT Supervisor Training should include information like the above to help bring reality to the nature of the illness and the symptoms of reasonable suspicion for the consumption of alcohol on the job.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Handouts and Tip Sheets for DOT Supervisor Training -- Get Some Good Ones

If you are training supervisors in a two-hour, DOT Drug and Alcohol Training Course, will they walk out the door as unprepared to confront workplace substance abuse as when they walked in? They will unless effective take-away handouts and tip sheets are included in your training.

Let's talk tip sheets and handouts. You probably distribute a chart with drugs and alcohol signs and symptoms on it. That's a good thing, but make your original copy editable so you an amend it with new substances of abuse that appear on the streets. Examples include things like Bath Salts, Spice/K2, and Salvia. These damn substances can be purchased online by anyone.

The point is, your training program can't be a simple educational experience with just signs and symptoms and drugs of abuse required by the DOT regulations. Sure, you will meet the "technical requirements"  for DOT Drug and Alcohol Training, but you will leave your organization at risk. Supervisors are scared of confronting employees. So you need to give them some take-away tools.

You must to go further so supervisors walk out the door really "getting it." The DOT got hung up on  semantics and terms when they wrote the regs. For example, they are using terms like "alcohol misuse" in the workplace rather than another term that could be far more useful and descriptive. Most addiction experts never heard this phrase used in any practical way until the DOT came up with it.

The US DOT offers only a few sentences that describe the educational mandate for workplace substance abuse education, but the employer will remain at risk if you do not address many other issues associated with substance abuse. So let's talk about how you can beef up your training, make it interesting, and do some real good with DOT wellness tip sheets and handouts associated with substance abuse education of supervisors. READ MORE . . .

Saturday, August 26, 2017

DOT Supervisor Training in Reasonable Suspicion: Don't Get Confused by Terminology

alcoholic employees can't drink safely ever again and be DOT drivers
"I hope above hope I can drink again.
I just need to deal with my depression, and I'm set." NOPE!
If you are new to education about substance abuse, the first think you need to know and teach others (if you are a DOT educator) is that alcoholism, drug addictions, and addictive disease are generally interchangeable terms. 

Don't get confused by the terminology. It will not be that important.

Realize however that medical professionals are continually debating the mostly settled science on the cause of alcoholism, and the psychiatric community especially, has a lot to lose by the growing end of psychiatric treatment for alcoholism -- in other words treating alcoholism as a mental disorder. Those days are done. It's nearly all about genetics.

By the way, alcoholics and drug addicts absolutely love to hear that their addiction is a psychiatric based illness. Do you know why? After all, who wants to think of themselves as psychiatric ill?

Well, if you
think alcoholism or addiction is a psychiatric problem, then you have hope of using again! You simply need to treat your psychiatric problem successfully, right. This is completely bogus. This however, is why so many millions of addicts die of their illness. They psychiatric message is KILLING THEM.

When alcoholics learn their illness is bio-genic and they can never, ever drink alcohol safely, all hope is lost for drinking alcohol again. See the difference? Now you must get angry, grieve, but face the truth and do what it takes to quit consuming beverage alcohol and other psycho-active substances that affect the mood. Any less is A RELAPSE brother!

Many alcoholics have used other drugs, legally prescribed or not, that are addictive. DOT supervisor training has to spend a little bit of time on this reality. Addictive disease or chemical dependency are terms used to help the public understand the clinical nature of addiction. They are helpful in reducing stigma. But terms like "chemical dependency" are particularly popular among the psychiatric community, and especially in California where a heavy mental health model to explain addition still lingers like deadly cyanide gas for unwitting patients who are addicts seeking treatment there.

Addiction is a disease process and it is primary.  Patients are therefore taught to manage their disease in order to prevent relapse in the same way diabetics are taught to manage their illness.  Use of alcohol or drugs begins with experimentation or peer pressure for almost every drinker.  Physiologic susceptibility determines the progression of the disease. This heavily influenced by genetics, but other factors can influence severity and course of the disease.

Alcoholism declared a disease in 1957 by the American Medical Association.

Alcoholism declared a disease in 1956 by the World Health Organization.

Research demonstrates most people believe alcoholism (addiction) to be a disease, however, this belief does not contribute easily to self-diagnosis because of denial.  Most people attempt to define alcoholism by behaviors (how much one drinks, when, or what) rather than medical, objective symptoms. Changing this view is key to intervention and reducing stigma.

Some occupations are characterized by more frequent opportunities to use alcohol socially or without observation.  Higher rates of alcoholism may therefore be found among a workforce that are predominantly male, or in occupations such as traveling sales, etc. (NIAA Research) The opportunity to tax one’s susceptibility increases one’s risk and the speed of onset for the illness. Train your supervisors in drug and alcohol education for the DOT

Friday, August 25, 2017

Don't Kill an Alcoholic Employee with Kindness: Reasonable Suspicion Training for Supervisors

1.  Have you ever called someone a functional alcoholic?
2.  Do you have a social relationship with this person where drinking plays an important role?
3.  Have you heard “stories” about the functional alcoholic’s home life that are problematic or disturbing to you?
4.  Does the thought of not socializing with the functional alcoholic seem unacceptable and

5.  Have you dismissed or minimized alcohol-related problems that have occurred in the functional alcoholic’s life, even while thinking to yourself that this person needs help?

Would your decision to stop drinking with the functional alcoholic cause him or her to question your loyalty or ability to have a good time?

If others agreed to participate in an intervention to motivate the functional alcoholic to enter treatment, would you feel inclined to argue against it, motivated by how your life might change?
Do you believe the functional alcoholic would become boring if he or she decided to stop drinking for good? Preview the reasonable suspicion training program here.

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you are an enabler.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Do you provide education and awareness to employees concerning alcohol and other drugs of abuse?

drugs of abuse education for employees
There are powerful reasons for doing so, and they are all a win-win for employees and employers.

There is no government mandate for most industries to do employee awareness training in substance abuse (railroads have had such a mandate since 1986.) but I want to give you several reasons why you should consider it no matter what industry your associated with.

Employees deserve it. There is a terrible opioid crisis going on right now, alcoholism is never going away, pot use is increasing, and employees and their families are terribly affected by these problems.

You may not hear about the brother of your lead supervisor who is addicted to heroin or the sister of your secretary who moved into a homeless shelter last month, but these issues are pervasive in every company.

Employees may see TV commercials, or even hear the President of the United States talk about drug problems, but they aren't getting education about these issues from any source at home or in the community. Workplace wellness programming that you can easily provide is really the only way they can get it.

They can't get it anywhere. Employees aren't getting information about substance and prevention from TV shows or newspapers. They aren't learning about alcohol abuse, dealing with teens, stimulants, opioids, depressants, marijuana dangers, enabling, getting help, helping someone who doesn't want help, self-diagnosis, dispelling myths, and many more topics. (We cover all these things in our training program for employee drug and alcohol awareness.)

Employees have drug problems. Right now, there are employees on your payroll with drug and alcohol addiction problems. Most are in early or middle stage addiction. Very late stage addiction is obvious, and you may have seen these problems in the past. More problems are coming. It is only a matter of time.

Problems on staff. Statistically, about 5-7% of employees have drug and/or alcohol problems. But about 12-17% of your employees have family members at home or dependents with substance abuse the rest of this post on my blog at

Monday, August 7, 2017

DOT Supervisor Training Test Questions: Making Them Count with Impact and Reduced Risk to the Organization

If you offer DOT supervisor training or provide drug and alcohol training for supervisors for any reason, then it is critical that you give a test at the end of the training. Tests allow supervisors to absorb a bit more of what they learned, and this increases the likelihood they will act on the material. And of course, this reduces risk to the organization, increases referrals to testing, and improves productivity and the bottom line in the long run.

But test questions actually can do much more, and they have a lot more influence in making your drug free workplace training more effective than you may realize.

DOT Supervisor Training Certificate from Reasonable Suspicion Training

DOT Supervisor Training
Test Question Tips

1) Make Test Questions Educational
. Make the test questions in your training program educational. When employees answer the test questions, and check the correct answer, give them more information about the topic and capture this precious moment where you can educate them more thoroughly, offer new information, and having them think more deeply about the concept addressed in the test question on DOT supervisor training.

2) Add DOT Supervisor Training Questions Unrelated to the Content. Don't worry, there is no rule about content in test questions relating to what the supervisor learned in the content of the course. Mix it up. Have questions the supervisor may not know the answer to and make them controversial to inspire interest. Then, as mention above, offer education included in the answer to the question that increases the DOT supervisor's knowledge.

3) Force Correct Answer to Questions. Never allow supervisors to walk away with a so called "passing score" of less than 100%. Can you guess why? The reason is risk management. When a supervisor answers a question that is wrong, supply the correct answer or force the answer on a Web course by making them answer the test question again.

4) Reduce the Audio/Visual Portion of Training.
Because you are using test questions for educational purposes (and I hope handouts and tip sheets that are also required), reduce the audio-visual portion of the program. Nothing from the US DOT requires that audio/visual content itself be 60 minutes/60 minutes. In fact, your course can also include group discussion. How do I know? Well, I phoned the DOT headquarters myself and asked about this question.

Test questions can make your DOT supervisor training a lot more powerful and effective than you realize. And, most importantly, effective training ultimately saves lives.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Motivating Managers in DOT Supervisor Training to Act on the Drug Free Workplace Policy

DOT Supervisor Training is typically a one-time, two hour training event, but in reality, it
dot supervisor training
must be an ongoing educational process for supervisory personnel overseeing regulated safety-sensitive positions. There is great chance of risk and failure for a drug-free workplace program if this does not occur. If an ongoing approach to educating supervisors does not occur, try to get one started. This does not have to be complicated or burdensome, and it does not need to consume much of the supervisor’s time. It does not need to a classroom event, and it can be as simple as a supervisor tips newsletter that includes period education on substance abuse and the supervisor role. READ MORE . . .

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Drunk Supervisor: Implications for a Drug and Alcohol Course, DOT Supervisor Training, and Reducing Risk

Supervisors aren’t immune from alcoholism. That should sound obvious, but they do have a special set of circumstances, given their positions, that makes them more unlikely to be identified as under the influence in violation of the organization’s drug free workplace policy. There’s a problem and a risk issue present with this situation.

Reasonable suspicion training for supervisors does not include and does not require education for supervisors on self-diagnosis or alcoholic supervisors dealing with their subordinate supervisors.

Likewise, the DOT supervisor training compliance guidelines do not require making supervisors aware of institutional enabling factors that protect the drinker who is a supervisory capacity. This makes reasonable suspicion training an important opportunity to discuss this problem right in the classroom—and get the elephant in the living room exposed—or at least trying to make a meaningful impact on the problem. Learn more


Friday, July 14, 2017

What's the Cost of Alcoholism in the Typical Workplace? Formula for Determining Cost of Alcoholism on Business and Industry

A workforce with 300 employees will be comprised of about 18 alcoholic employees.  These employees average approximately 75% their efficiency level. These could be anywhere on the continuum from zero impact on productivity to maximum impact on productivity.

This means there is a 25% loss of productivity for alcoholic drinkers.  This includes higher costs associated with accidents, insurance,
property damage, theft, sick leave, fringe benefits use and abuse, and a bunch of other difficult to measure impacts.

Peer pressure or experimentation are virtually the only reasons for anyone’s first drink.

The following formula was popularized in the early 1970’s by NIAAA (Average Salary of Workforce X 25%) X  (Number of Employees X 6%) = Economic Loss

Example: 1. $33,000 X 25% = $8250 

2. 300 X 7% of workforce = 21

3. 21 X $8250 = $173,250

Total Cost of Addiction to Company = $173,250 per year.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Supervisors Should Learn about Withdrawal Symptoms--They Can Be More Threatening

Supervisors and managers overseeing line staff workers learn how to effectively identify specific signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse, and I recommend without reservation that they also learn about withdrawal symptoms associated with non-use, that are crucial to documenting what appears to dysfunctional behavior on the job. 

This is a twist on typical reasonable suspicion training, but we believe highly important. Although seldom discussed, drug addicts and alcoholics in middle and late stages may appear without any symptoms whatsoever until they go into withdrawal, at which point they may become highly dysfunctional.

Properly confronting employees does not mean that you get into conflicts with them on the job, but supervisors must know what their leverage is so they can properly motivate the workers found to be potentially under the influence to accept a referral. This free reasonable suspicion training checklist will help. I am only supplying the first page of it here, but you willreasonable-suspicion-training4.jpg find the full product on the shopping cart here.

Monday, June 5, 2017

New Supervisor Skills: First-Time Supervisors and Skills for Leadership

Becoming a supervisor is an exciting promotion, but it comes with a new set of challenges in the workplace. Rising to these challenges will allow you to love your job and failure to do so will create enormous strain. No matter how long you have been a supervisor, refresher courses (small intense courses packed with information that’s practical and instantly applicable) can help you perform your job better. This sort of intense training can help you feel more prepared for any situation that may arise when you are out there on the job. These skills generally fall into the communication camp, because in most cases that is the defining factor of good management. Whether you see to help prevent workplace violence, give feedback, inspire your team, or even apply documentation skills, the underlying skill is good communication. Read more...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

During a DOT supervisor training course, supervisors learn about the signs and symptoms of alcohol misuse and the signs and symptoms of drug abuse so they can spot these behaviors on the job when employees experience them.
Although supervisors are not able determine with finality whether an employee is under the influence, the education provided to supervisors allows them to document contemporaneously all the information needed to suspect that drugs and alcohol are being consumed, or consumed before starting work....READ MORE

Friday, April 21, 2017

Drugs of Abuse Chart for DOT Supervisor Training

I hope most drug and alcohol training programs provide a drugs of abuse chart for supervisors to look and discuss in their DOT compliance training classes. The drugs of abuse chart typically shows the five classifications of drugs and alcohol that the DOT requires to be examined by supervisors to help them learn about the nature of these substances, their effects on work performance, and the behavior of employees, signs and symptoms of their use, and the risks the substances pose in the work environment.

This chart should be editable and it should change over time with the discovery of new drugs of abuse that could find their way into the workplace. Employees these days have many sneaky ways of bring drugs into workplace, here is an example of a crack pipe we show in our DOT Supervisor Training PowerPoint and other training formatted courses.

DOT Supervisor Training PowerPoint for Reasonble Suspicion

Pretty crazy, huh? And this crack pipe is only a small example of the types of devices that are produced to thwart detection by management and provide reasonable suspicion training.

There are many other examples of how drug use is snuck into companies. I also have an image of a Chapstick that is really also a crack pipe. When all these clever tricks exist, there is only one thing supervisors can do about it -- monitor performance effectively. The drugs of abuse chart can help, but don't be fooled, good old fashioned observation of behaviors on the job is the way to go.

So, sure, knowing all these devices of trickery is a good thing for awareness, but none of it substitutes for a really solid drugs of abuse chart where supervisors can learn about the behavior of employees and how to be healthy.

Supervisor should be educated about other drugs of abuse like Salvia and K2. When supervisor training refresher is done, ask them to update their own charts with the drug and alcohol training they receive. And, as I mentioned before, do not omit employee education about substance abuse. Employees are your eyes and ears. They will let you know by one means or another, what is going on in the organization. But you are going to need to engage with them until they trust you. At that point, they will stop dropping hints about the work culture and what risks exist within it.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training Video: Why Employees at Work Drunk May Appear Complete 100% Sober


Educating supervisors about substance abuse is best accomplished when you also help them grasp the idea of something called drug tolerance. Drug tolerance has a simple meaning – your body requires more of the substance in order to achieve the same psychoactive effect desired – the high or the buzz. This is a nervous system reaction, and it occurs with all addicts. Alcoholism, cocaine addiction, opiates, they all build tolerance. In fact, build up of tolerance is part of the diagnosis of addiction and substance use disorders.

This is a problem for alcoholics and drug addicts for several reasons:

Being at work drunk and unnoticed. Tolerance to a drug is the body’s way--and particularly your nervous system’s way--of getting use to the presence of a substance. In the beginning there is a pleasant high or buzz the addict may perceive as the chemical reacts fully to your nervous system following consuming the substance. The nervous system chemicals that create a sense of pleasure begin failing at re-capturing their chemical messengers and aren't as efficient. And your feeling of getting "high" suffers. One's response to the drug is therefore diminished.

An overdose however can still kill. Drink alcohol on top of drug use or the other way around, and death can happen. Tolerance to a drug is not a reversible phenomenon, and it is considered linked and part of the disease process. Can you see why understanding this content is important in DOT reasonable suspicion training to help supervisors gain appreciation for just signs and symptoms, but disease of addiction that more often affects employees under the influence?

 Withdrawal Symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms affect employees’ ability to perform. An employee may actually be more capable of performing under the influence with a high blood alcohol content than if they were completely sober at 0.00 BAC, but in withdrawal and needing a drink in order to prevent going into seizures, shaking uncontrollably, or even DTs. (Delirium Tremens) All psycho-motor skills of the employee drug or alcohol user can be affected. So, a solid checklist of these signs and symptoms is important to give employees in a DOT compliance training class or presentation, especially a PowerPoint reasonable suspicion training class.
Adverse Effects on Memory. You can have an employee sitting in front of you when confronting him or her about their drinking on the job, and have a reasonably coherent conversation. The next day, they may not remember it at all because of an alcoholic black out. Many supervisors in the DOT compliance training class will have stories of drunk employees they will share.

Increased Risk by Employees. Employees will be at risk for more accidents when they are using substances on the job. And believe it or not, as I alluded to, an increased number of accidents can happen to employees who are in withdrawal on the job, but with zero BAC levels.

Skills in Being a B.S. Artist. Alcoholic employees must be come BS artists to keep you guessing, and see them as cooperative, jolly, personal favorites of yours. This attitude toward alcoholic employees will keep their performance curve higher in your mind that it actually is in a quantifiable form. This is part of the enabling pattern. Employees who talk a good game but have absenteeism issues and poor work quality are not satisfactory workers simply because they appear to highly positive personalities. Don’t let supervisors be lured into this dynamic, and address this problem in reasonable suspicion training

Attendance and Availability Impact. Employees with drug and alcohol problems will eventually have attendance problems—not showing up for work. They may look good at work, but they are alcoholic and behaviors will eventually catch up to them. And you never know when it will happen. Fridays, Mondays, and the day after payday are the most common absence days for addicts.

The other attendance related problems is availability – disappearing on the job. This can happen at lunch time or a couple 
hours after employees come to work when the BAL drops and they need a drink to fix it.. Drug and alcohol policies at hospitals typically do not cover medical doctors. Did you know that? Medical doctors average 2x the alcoholism rate of other persons. Now you know why. The protest the policy and get it changed. What medical doctor on staff at a hospital will ever subject themselves to a random drug screen? None.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Reasonable Suspicion Training in One Awesome Handout - for PowerPoint, DVD, Web Course, or Video Presentations

Sometimes a very good tip sheet for reasonable suspicion training comes along. And this is one I created from three different tip sheets for DOT supervisors taking drug and alcohol compliance classes. In one glance it shows supervisors the progression of addiction, signs, symptoms, dispels myths, and helps the reader of the tip sheet self-diagnose their own alcoholism (sorry for the anxiety) but not saving your life if you happen to be in some progressive stage of the illness. You can thank me later. See if you can print if from below, but you can also purchase this tip sheet or get it free with our training programs on Reasonable suspicion. #reasonable suspicion training #dot drug and alcohol training


Friday, March 10, 2017

Discussing Stigma, Myths, and Misconceptions in DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training

DOT reasonable suspicion training -- discuss and examine myths and misconceptions about alcoholism and drug addictions, and the consequences of these roadblocks to effectively managing a drug free workplace. Read more . ..

Sunday, February 5, 2017

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Reasonable Suspicion Training: Instructing Supervisors in Assembling Documentation that Works

A checklist for reasonable suspicion is need to train supervisors in confronting an employee for reasonable suspicion training. Be sure to add this element in your drug and alcohol awareness class in how to document incidents properly that can support a request for a drug test is absolutely crucial because organizational or legal challenges, if they arise, will require that the supervisor demonstrated a credible basis for requesting a test.
This makes teaching documentation skills to supervisors, and not just learning about drug and alcohol symptoms, as an important skill. Of course, the DOT does not require you to teach documentation, as illogical as it seems. It makes you wonder why not. One could say this is especially crucial if you are concerned about protecting employee rights.
Nevertheless, did you know that there is a 60% chance that a lawsuit will be won in court by the employee, no matter what the case might be, and that an jury-determined settlement is typically 500% greater than an out of court settlement when it comes to employment claims litigation? Read more . . .

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Opioid Withdrawal May Cause More Evidence of Drug Use Than Symptoms of Intoxication

Reasonable suspicion training isn't black and white. There are a lot of shades of gray. You should include information about the behavioral patterns of opioid abusers so supervisors are not kept in the dark.

There is a theory being put out there that the rise in social media is fueling the opioid epidemic and the use of prescription drugs, which most of the time means opioid like substances that are synthetically produced. The timing of the drug epidemic is coinciding with rise in social media use. I think this is a red herring.

One theory is that those with a propensity to use psychoactive substances seek information online that will help them maximize the opportunity and knowledge they seek to discover the next big high. And information about narcotics is plentiful online. What comes next is discovering many ways to procure these substances of abuse.

Link to Heroin Prevention Education Program

If you google, “buy oxycodone”, you will reach over 500,000 web sites. At least 50 of them will discuss getting a hold of this drug by buying it online, and overnight service is not uncommon. These are the problems employers are facing in their attempts to spot drug users via reasonable suspicion training instruction, webinars, and organized training sessions for the DOT mandate. It appears that the Internet, and not just social media is heavily responsible for making access to these drugs easier. I would argue more so.

When training supervisors in signs and symptoms of opioid use, discuss the following information: Someone with a opioid drug use addiction will have a strong desire to use opioids. There are many addictions that contribute to the same behavioral syndrome, but absenteeism from work, and not giving a flying F--- about it is classic.

Drugs simply take away or remove the sense of urgency every typically possesses to get up and get going, and get to work on time. Drug abuse or other addictions will undermine this sense of “urgency deterioration. This absenteeism pattern also stems from the problem of inability to control or reduce use. The task is simply too overwhelming physically for the typical person to detox themselves. You may also discover sudden absenteeism after a person gets a paycheck on the 15th of the month, or even that same day knowing they have the money in hand. Most supervisors ignore what they don't see. And with Reasonable suspicion training, what you don't see is the employee at work. So, instruct supervisors in how to develop a preponderance of evidence that employee is using substances of abuse when you do training.

The inability to maintain commitments, promises, relationship dates, homework assignments, project deadlines are all interrupted or made more challenging by drug addiction for the same reasons as discussed above. Supervisors are also like to see or hear about more legal problems with employees who have substance abuse issues.

These legal problems will be associated more often with domestic issues, driving under the influence, or bizarre behavior linked to the drug’s use. Money owed to other users or friends may create significant crisis. Financial problems are especially problematic for drug users, again because of the issues mentioned above. Supervisors will begin hearing about depression, seeing a doctor, rumors about seeing a psychiatrist (last place addicts should go, if they are attending sessions to gain insight on why they use drugs. It’s a fruitless pursuit.

Stomach problems and insomnia are also problems for narcotic (opioid users) because all opioid users will experiment with their own self-detox, and withdrawal symptoms can be quite agitating. This agitation can lead to absenteeism, and these employees will say they have the flu. Indeed, they may not be using drugs at all in that moment. It’s the withdrawal symptoms that are keeping them away from work. Be sure to discuss withdrawal symptoms, not just the symptoms of intoxication with reasonable suspicion training.
#opioidaddiction #heroinaddiction #prescriptiondrugabuse