Monday, March 30, 2020

What Reasonable Suspicion Training Should Include to Educate Supervisors

Reasonable suspicion training must include one hour of alcohol and one hour of other drug information. The goal is to help supervisors become aware of key substances of abuse and help them respond properly.

Note that one hour covers alcohol and one hour covers all of the other drugs of abuse the DOT wants mentioned. What does this tell you?

It obviously says that alcohol is the bigger problem in the workplace. And indeed it is.

One out of 11 drinkers is an alcoholic. (Personally, from my 40 years of observations in treatment and education, I think it is closer to 1 in 9.) The disease can continue for decades before it is noticed as productivity declines or increased absenteeism, among many other behavioral, conduct, and attitude possibilities.

Drugs to include in your reasonable suspicion training are alcohol, stimulants, depressants, narcotics, hallucinogens & PCP, and Marijuana.

Although the following drugs are not required education, I like delivering content to supervisors that will help them deal with problems at home with teenagers or problems at home with an alcoholic spouse or partner. And, the education I deliver in reasonable suspicion training is designed purposely to help supervisors self-diagnose their own alcoholism. Think about it. When you have a captured audience with people that could have a life threatening illness and not know it, what would you recommend? Enough said!

As you can see the alcohol education in products 154, 155 and 107 is that good. It helps learners self-diagnose.

There are no other drugs of abuse that supervisors must be educated in as required by the U.S. DOT in reasonable suspicion training, but we will discuss some drugs of abuse that you may want to mention because they have dramatic effects on the workplace, even though required education about their signs and symptoms is not mandated.

Ever hear of Salvia? No? We’ll talk about it. Spice and K2 also, which are big problems in many populations groups.

The U.S. DOT does require that supervisors receive certain parameters of information associated with the drugs of abuse outlined in the code of federal regulations. When discussing drugs of abuse, always include signs and symptoms of the drug being used, effects on the employee behavior, and dangers of use in the workplace.

Personally I like to also make a few comments about withdrawal – when an employee may be completely drug free, not under the influence, but dangerously incapacitated by symptoms withdrawal, then it is worth talking about.

The DOT does not require “behavioral signs and symptoms of withdrawal” but as you might guess, it is a good thing for supervisors to understand.

A new requirement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is for all federal employees to have education and awareness regarding several types of Opioids. These include:  Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone, and Oxymorphone. 

These drugs are predominantly used for pain control, and there is not a lot that you need to say about them as required by the DOT. Awareness is the key. Include photos of these drugs in your presentation and simply mention their addictive nature and general use in pain managements.  You can find a PowerPoint Slide Video here and you are welcome to pause and download or save this ppt here.  

Beyond drugs of abuse it is important to have test questions for supervisors regarding drug and alcohol awareness. Also have handouts. Do not consume the time your supervisors are in training with 120 minutes of alcohol and drug awareness audio/visual content. Instead, break this time up. Make eight or nine handouts available in the course so they can read and review them in the future.

Regarding test questions, make them educational. Your test questions do not need to relate directly to the material in the presentation. I make my test questions true/false or multiple choice, and then offer a paragraph of educational content to explain to the learner. The questions for the most part do not related to the content. No need. Just help supervisors delve deeper into the content.

Introducing DOT Supervisors to the Reasonable Suspicion Training Program for Drug and Alcohol Abuse in the Workplace

Most DOT drug and alcohol awareness training programs begin with a quick dive into the drugs of abuse, their signs and symptoms, and information required by the DOT compliance mandate, but I suggest you create an introduction for your supervisors before diving in to the required content. There are a few good reasons why. Train DOT supervisors here.

crack pipe disguised as blue Hi-Liter marking pen
Believe It! You won't easily find drug addicts!
Beyond introducing the time frame and other administrative or logistics information of your course, a key point must be to explain to supervisors that the goal of training is not to educate them about diagnosis of drug and alcohol abuse or addictive disease.

In fact, telling DOT supervisors directly that should not use the information they are about to hear for that purpose helps ensure that big problems down the road do not occur.

This message to supervisors no only reduces liability and a completely inappropriate role for any supervisor, but it also helps prevent employee manipulation and total frustration by the supervisor who will never---ever---win the diagnosis game. Most of us run our lives as “junior psychiatrists”

Employees with drug and alcohol use problems or drug addicts, which amount principally to the same thing, are experts at having discussions about their use, abuse, level of consumption, why they are not addicts, who is an addict, what is an addict, and none of these things include them.

No one wins arguments with addicts to the extent that they are convinced to enter treatment. A lot more is needed than intellectual persuasion. Unfortunately, this argument is usually won with leverage of fear associated with the certainty of being fired if the employee does not accept treatment.

Many people believe, and of course this includes supervisors, that no employee entering treatment will ever get well unless they really want to enter treatment and really want to quit. This is a myth. The truth is that no addict “accepts help” until after treatment begins because education is 95% of any addiction treatment program – designed to motivate the patient to self-diagnose where before treatment, just the opposite applies. The patient before treatment works overtime to compare out of the illness and convince him- or herself that the disease does not affect themselves.

Without the myths and misconceptions dispelled, family, friends, coworkers, and supervisors will take the leap to motivate them into saying “yes, I need help and want to quit.” This approach is for the most part, complete folly. True, employees do experience these completely self-generated desires to enter treatment, but it is usually only associated with crisis or a close call.

When training supervisors, provide them with information necessary to increase awareness about troubled employee behaviors. We are not talking about substance abuse signs and symptoms. We are talking here about behaviors that are purely associated with troubled employees like absenteeism, disappearing on the job, conflicts, late to work, complaints of feeling ill, leaving early from work, etc. Here’s why: Few drug addicted or alcoholic employees will ever be spotted directly by intoxication. This was well understood in the 1970’s when the Occupational Alcoholism movement took hold. More addicts were found via job performance than “drunk on the job.” In fact, many books were written about this phenomenon. And, in fact an entire association was formed around this reality – the Labor Management Journal on Alcoholism, the Association of Labor, Management, and Administrators on Alcoholism, and others. 

Since supervisors monitor performance, they can ideally be part of an early warning system for spotting performance problems that could be due alcohol or drug use.

Include the following information within your reasonable suspicion training program: Information about the disease concept of alcoholism and drug addiction; tolerance and cross tolerance; understanding loss of control, denial, avoiding armchair diagnosing, stopping enabling; principles of constructive confrontation.

DOT Training Essentials Beyond Drug Abuse What Other DOT Training Ideas to Consider

Click link in right hand side for Reasonable Suspicion Training
Most supervisors have misinformation about alcoholism and drug addiction.  This misinformation gets in the way of effectively responding to troubled employees, who can easily explain away and postpone confrontation as a result of their increasingly, well-practiced defensive mechanisms. Without training and a set of guiding principles for managing troubled employees with alcohol and drug problems that include non-substance use performance issues, supervisors are unwittingly outmatched.

Purchase PowerPoint, DVD, Video, or Web course for Reasonable Suspicion Training for the DOT.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Substance Abuse in the Workplace: 4 Essential Elements to Stop It From Happening

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires businesses in the transportation industry to ensure that personnel authorized to supervise drivers undergo training on alcohol misuse and controlled substances use. The training covers all factors which may indicate possible substance abuse, i.e., physical, behavioral, speech, and performance factors. Why so?

Substance abuse is a worldwide phenomenon that costs lives. In American society, drug addiction and
employee thinking about drinking
abuse cost the U.S. “$740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and crime-related costs,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse's (NIDA) 2017 “Trend & Statistics” report.

The problem is complex and requires a multi-pronged approach to be resolved and prevented. This is why industry-specific programs such as the DOT Supervisor Compliance Training Online course, exist.

For employers, nipping the incidence of substance abuse in the bud is essential. Companies bear the brunt of the financial costs of workplace substance abuse in the form of:

             Safety risks
             Healthcare costs
             Low productivity
             Compensation and disability claims

In the transportation industry, human resources managers and training experts can benefit immensely from DOT supervisor compliance training online. Aside from it being a compliance requirement, it hones the trainee's skills for identifying possible substance abuse among drivers and recommending the appropriate course of action.

How to stop it from happening

In your unique role as HR manager or training expert, the DOT Supervisor Compliance Training Online program is a valuable resource for addressing the issue of substance abuse among drivers.
To guide you in your objectives of resolving and preventing the recurrence of substance abuse, here’s a list of essential elements to stop it from happening:

1. Know what signs to look out for

There are several symptoms abusers are known to exhibit at work. The following are the most common possible signs:

             Unexplained change in attendance and job performance
             Drastic personality changes such as anxiety and mood swings
             Frequent and prolonged bathroom use
             Sudden lack of responsibility, and difficulty performing ordinary tasks
             Deteriorating workplace relations

2. HR intervention and corrective action

Substance abuse is a sensitive matter and must be handled with compassion and professionalism. If you have a reasonable basis for engaging in intervention or recommending a course of action (e.g., a drug test), it must be communicated diplomatically.
You must ensure you get to the heart of the matter, or the reason why substance abuse has become a problem. This way, you can recommend further steps to ensure the problem is resolved with no risk of recurrence.

3. Employee education

Over and above HR intervention, prevention is key.
You can discuss the effects of substance abuse with personnel, especially drivers. Focus on how it can threaten their relationships at work, their job security, the company itself, their co-workers, and their families. Talk about the risks irresponsible driving poses to civilians on the road, to property, and the drivers themselves.
Coupled with company support, developing awareness among employees will go a long way in preventing substance abuse in and out of the workplace.

4. Family and social support

Any substance abuse program will have limited impact without the active participation of family members and the required community support.
In individual cases, you will need to reach out to the concerned driver’s family, explain the situation, and get their support. To involve the community at large, you can spearhead information drives to assist and complement company-sponsored substance abuse programs. You can also partner with local government units in furthering the same.

For more information on the DOT Supervisor ComplianceTraining Online course and more specific ways to manage substance abuse among drivers, get in touch with us today.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training in Web Course, DVD, PowerPoint, or Flash Movie Works Great

DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training specifies that your supervisors and upper management—who oversee employees in safety sensitive positions—need to know how to spot someone who is possibly under the influence as well as what to do if they do spot an employee with specific behavioral issues. 
Unfortunately figuring out the best way to teach your supervisors how to handle employees who are under the influence is not always the easiest thing to do. Certainly, drug and alcohol education is critical, but I have discovered that unless you make a huge impact on their myths and misconceptions about substance abuse, and alcoholism in particularly, they will fail to measure up to your expectations post-education.

The result is that risk to your organization remains, even though you get applauded for an outstanding educational program on substance abuse. Are you with me on this?
You see, the U.S. DOT says nothing about educating your supervisors away from their pre-established myths and misconceptions. The U.S. DOT can’t say, “Ok folks, here is what alcoholism is all about, so use this model of explanation and discard all the others.” Of course they can’t say this because it is beyond their ability and mandate. The end result is that you must do it yourself and figure out what you are going to say.
Personally, I like this educational module on alcoholism inserted below and which was
image to part two the beginning of the drug and alcohol education portion
authored to help supervisors and employees, or anyone else for that matter, about alcohol abuse and alcoholism. It took months to author correctly for the most impact. You can watch the video here below. It is included in the DOT ReasonableSuspicionTraining program from

Fortunately, there are programs such as

Fortunately, there are programs such as signs and symptoms checklist that can help as well, and an extensive handout is included in the program above, but using them requires supervisors also be educated on manipulation because without such education, they become putty in the hands of manipulative addicts. Luckily we cover ten manipulative excuses.

Supervisors actually leave training diagnosing themselves after effective education. Why would you want this. And why not?

Information about substance abuse should be education and myth dispelling. When myths are dispelled, the truth appears. And in fact, one of ten employees who drinks is or will become an alcoholic. Their reality is how Training makes a different. This training is a workforce management training resource program that will teach you everything needed to know about starting a DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training program.

Supervisors actually leave training diagnosing themselves after effective education. Why would you want this. And why not?

Information about substance abuse should be education and myth dispelling. When myths are dispelled, the truth appears. And in fact, one of ten employees who drinks is or will become an alcoholic. Their reality is how Training makes a different.

This training is a workforce management training resource program that will teach you everything needed to know about starting a DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training program.

The DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training is meant to teach your supervisors how to handle confrontations when an employee refuses to be tested, when they receive information that someone heard someone else say, when an employee discovers a suspicious substance on the work site or when an employee leaves the job site without notice.

Keep in mind DOT ReasonableSuspicion Training is not just about teaching your supervisors how to handle a situation involving an employee being under the influence. It is meant to teach why substance abuse is bad and the problems it could cause an individual to have functioning in the work place. The program is not just meant to punish your employees and tell them no. It is meant to educate them and better their life for the future.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Reasonable Suspicion Training DOT Supervisor Education Click Below

Employees will attempt to manipulate supervisors when they are confronted on the job. Consider helping them with ten or so examples of this manipulation and what's behind it so they can think about how they will respond effectively and not be caught off guard in reasonable suspicion training.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Reasonable Suspicion Training for DOT Preview Piece 1

Purchase DOT Training Web Course that you own and keep for your company and never pay another cent with handouts, test, and personalized certification generated at your company, from your own internal course, from your own internal Web server.