EAP NewsBrief
Mar. 31, 2015

Should depressed pilots fly commercial planes?
International Business Times
With news that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who is accused of deliberately crashing Germanwings Flight 9525, struggled with depression, questions are being raised about the fitness of pilots with mental health issues to fly commercial planes. Should someone with depression be able to pilot a commercial plane? More

We don't know how often pilots commit suicide
If the Germanwings crash was the result of a deliberate act on the part of the plane's co-pilot, as French authorities think, it would join a disturbing list of pilot suicides and suspected suicides, including the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jet a year ago. Regulators seeking the cause might be tempted to see patterns in the data that suggest this was no isolated incident — that, instead, pilots commit suicide at a higher rate than people in other fields, as some statistics appear to suggest.More

States expand access to opioid rescue drug
USA Today
With drug overdoses skyrocketing across the United States, a growing number of states are expanding access to a fast-acting rescue drug called naloxone, which can revive a dying addict in minutes. Expanded access laws are in line with a recent recommendation from the World Health Organization, and come in response to a rising scourge. But while these new laws have broad support in the public health community, some doctors and drug-treatment professionals say they are just Band-Aids for an overwhelming addiction problem requiring a much broader solution.More

Australian labor union proposes mandatory drug and alcohol testing on work sites
The Canberra Times
Drug and alcohol testing could become mandatory on construction sites under a new national policy proposed by a workers union. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Electrical Union hopes the intervention-style approach could help ease the burden on health and legal services struggling to cope with drug addiction. The union has a long history of opposing drug and alcohol testing in the workplace, but shifted its position over members' concerns about the safety risks posed by workers impaired by addiction or substance abuse.More

Workplace anxiety and the Americans with Disabilities Act
The National Law Review
For employers, weighing an employee's health issues with workplace concerns, such as employee safety and productivity, often requires a delicate balance. The challenge may be even greater when handling issues related to mental health. Questions abound on both sides: employees wonder if they should tell their employers about personal events that may be affecting their mental well-being, and employers struggle with difficult decisions concerning employment status when they have an ineffective worker.More

Bad bets: Compulsive gambling can snare people, devastate lives
Grand Forks Herald
Each year, when March Madness rolls around, many people plunk money down in hopes of winning office pools that infuse a bit of fun and build collegiality in the workplace. For most people, gambling is a pleasurable pastime that adds excitement to life. But for others, it can become a serious, uncontrollable addiction with devastating consequences.More

Employers have a stake in the urgent need for mental health care
Mental health conditions affect millions of Americans, with more than 25 percent of people in any given year experiencing some kind of anxiety, depression or other condition, according to Mental Health America. The ensuing fatigue, loss of energy, persistent sadness and more not only impact personal lives, but also carry over into professional lives with a loss of concentration, absenteeism and short-term disability.More

Research: Narcissism may be good for business
According to the Oxford Dictionary, "narcissism" is defined as "Excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance." A just-published study by the American Psychological Association says that more men fit this definition than women. Most people know from personal experience what that means for personal relationships and everyday interactions between males and females. But what does it mean when applied to the world of work?More

Where do CEOs with addictions go when they hit bottom?
Anna David is Editor-in-Chief of RehabReviews.com, a website with reviews of nearly 900 drug rehabilitation facilities. Think of it as a Yelp.com for drug rehabs. David is also a recovering addict, and she said that in her experience, the CEO with an addiction is by no means a rarity, and neither is the treatment facility catering to his or her needs. "Rehabs targeting this demographic have started popping up seemingly every second," she said. "Many of these rehab owners are addicts who got sober, became quite successful as a result, and know exactly how to treat these people, because they are these people."More

Australia: Government tackles violence against staff in mental health facilities
Brisbane Times
Mental health services in Australia will have to report all violent incidents and a statewide audit will check facilities are safe under a government plan to curb attacks on staff. After numerous reports of staff being physically assaulted, verbally abused and even hospitalized on the job, Labor says it will tackle the ongoing problem of violence in the mental health system. Nurses say the move is long overdue. Joint research between the union and Melbourne University suggests about 34 percent of the mental health workforce — about 1,800 staff — are physically assaulted every year. Overall, 83 percent of mental health workers were victims of a form of abuse or violence, while 81 percent were verbally assaulted.More

US employees using drugs costing businesses $200 billion
Healthcare Global
15.4 million American workers are using illicit drugs, and this is costing the workforce $193 billion annually — $120.3 billion lost is productivity, $11.4 billion is health care costs and $61.4 billion in criminal justice costs. The findings show that 3.7 percent of the U.S. workforce tested positive for drugs in urine sampling tests, with marijuana, oxycodones, amphetamines, benzodiazepines and opiates rounding out the top five drugsused.More