Ms. Santiago should be given the opportunity to talk to patient or staff groups about alcohol abuse because she is proof that it is possible to manage the situation. The road to recovery for substance abusers is treacherous. The recovering substance abusers need physical and mental strength to see them through the path to recovery. A story such as Ms. Santiago's will serve to boost the mental strength of the recovering patients. Not only does Ms. Santiago's story offer hope, but it also shows the patients and staff that all is not lost and a positive outcome can be attained even in the most dire of situations. The move for Ms. Santiago to give talks is also helpful to her. Research indicates that service is one of the ways recovering substance abusers can use to stay sober and free of abuse (Abraha & Cusi, 2012).
The workplace needs to establish a supportive environment that will facilitate long-term recovery for former substance users. This support can be given in the form of development strategies that aim to accommodate and integrate former substance abusers in the workplace. In addition, since a considerable amount of time is spent at work, employees can detect growing substance abuse problems. The workplace is a suitable place where the influence can be used to get an employee to seek assistance about their substance abuse problems (Roman & Blum, 2002). Ms. Santiago's employer can offer an employee assistance program (EAP) that would incorporate incentives to stay in treatment programs and refrain from adopting old habits. In addition, Ms. Santiago's employer can provide education that would enlighten employees on the risks of substance abuse and the available options to beat substance abuse. By identifying the risk factors that plague substance abuse, Ms. Santiago's employer can eliminate these triggers and create a supportive work environment.
People with histories of substance abuse or HIV should not be under pressure to disclose these details to colleagues in the present environment. There is much that needs to be done on the education front to enlighten people about managing these conditions, and living with people having these conditions. Some decades ago, people with histories of substance abuse or HIV were ostracized or looked own upon due to their conditions (Finkelstein, 2009). Despite the advances in knowledge in the modern day and changes in culture, there is still a knowledge gap that may be adverse for people with histories of substance abuse or HIV. The decision to reveal this information to their colleagues is completely personal and should not be made compulsory. In the case of Ms. Santiago, she is comfortable in sharing the information. The only possible circumstances to reveal these or similar problems are when they have a direct impact on productivity. When an employees ability to perform duties is impaired by substance abuse or HIV, it is important for colleagues to know to provide support.
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