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Employee Assistance Program

Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are among several policy-based activities that address alcohol and drug abuse in the workplace. At present, EAPs are singular in that they are designed to provide constructive assistance to personnel with such problems and also to encourage job retention rather than detection and punishment as is the case with other policies.

The basic form of EAPs emerged from industrial alcoholism programs, the latter dating back to the early 1940s. Industrial alcoholism programs endeavored to introduce employees with alcohol dependence to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Company employees who had become affiliated with AA outside their employment were often instrumental in initiating or staffing these programs. Nearly all of these early programs were based in company medical departments and supervised by company physicians.

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