Understanding Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): A Path to Recovery for Alcohol Misuse

Understanding Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): A Path to Recovery for Alcohol Misuse

One of the biggest threats to recovery is the fear of losing employment. The risk of losing your source of income, on top of the anxieties surrounding getting sober, is enough to keep many trapped in the cycle of addiction. As more people understand the realities of substance abuse, though, more employers are open to helping employees trying to achieve recovery from alcoholism and addiction.
Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are one example of the move by employers to better support employees who need help with drug or alcohol use problems. Employers offering EAPs make it easier for employees to receive the help they need and reduce the fear of asking for help. If you’re struggling with substance use, how can EAP resources help you find recovery from alcoholism and addiction?

What Is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?

Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are employer-sponsored programs that offer information and referral services for employees who need help. EAPs can cover a wide range of issues, from mental health and financial issues to social and substance abuse issues.1 Oftentimes, employers provide EAPs concentrated on providing support for alcohol, prescription drug, and other substance use disorders. Some of the services available through EAP resources include:
  • Stress management
  • Balancing work and family life
  • Handling grief
  • Employee education
  • Short-term counseling
  • Treatment referrals
  • Community groups (Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, etc.)

EAP Resources

Employees struggling with alcohol and drug abuse can cause significant problems for employers. Substance abuse takes employees who are usually high performers and impacts their ability to function effectively in the workplace.2 There are certain performance indicators that suggest an employee has problematic substance use, such as: 

  • Attendance problems
  • Ongoing pattern of low quantity or poor quality of work
  • Behavioral problems in the workplace
  • Problematic interactions with customers or colleagues

When an employer notices that an employee may have a problem with their alcohol or drug use, they can refer them to some EAP resources.

Finding Recovery From Alcoholism With an EAP

There are three main types of employee assistance programs: in-house/internal programs, external programs, and blended programs. Each employer has the option to decide what to provide in terms of EAP resources. If you’re hoping to end your struggles with substance use, reaching out to your employer or human resources department is the first place to start. They will help you understand your options and identify the programs they have available.

Some employers also offer treatment referrals and, you can talk with them to find an addiction treatment facility that suits your schedule and needs. Silver Pines Treatment partners with numerous EAP resources to help employees find recovery from alcoholism and addiction. Our detox and residential treatment programs are the perfect first step for anyone seeking freedom from the confines of substance abuse.

If you’d like to learn more about treatment at Silver Pines or find out whether we can work with your employer-sponsored program, reach out to us at 267.209.7313 or submit an online contact form.


    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). Provide Support.
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Programs

Related Resources

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