EAP NewsBrief
Jun. 9, 2015

The pointlessness of the workplace drug test
Yahoo News
Last year, United States workers peed into one drug testing company's cups about 9.1 million times. And last year, as in other recent years, analysis of about 350,000 of those cups indicated drug use. Most often, the drug of choice was marijuana, followed by amphetamines and painkillers. The data are a little patchy, but the best estimate is that about 40 percent of U.S. workers are currently subjected to drug tests during the hiring process. Intuitively, that seems like a good idea: A sober, addiction-free workforce is probably a more productive workforce and, in the cases of operating forklifts or driving 18-wheelers, a safer workforce too. But some of this cup-peeing might be for naught.More

Ketamine: Leading the new wave of antidepressants?
Psychotherapy Networker
Since it was introduced as an anesthetic in the 1970s, ketamine has occupied an uncertain pharmacological status. It's been used as both a Vietnam-era battlefield painkiller and an illicit party drug, better known as Special K. But recent findings in studies around the world have some researchers wondering whether it might be the silver bullet for depression that Prozac and its sidekicks never turned out to be.More

India's depressed employees turn to e-counseling
The Times of India
Nearly 42.5 percent employees in India's private sector have depression or an anxiety disorder. Many users are men and women in their late 20s to mid-30s who access services online after 9 p.m.More

Study: Cyberbullying is harmful, but old-school harassment feels worse
The Washington Post
New technologies bring new ways for humans to make life miserable for one another. But using the latest digital tools to bully doesn't cause as much emotional harm as what's been taking place on schoolyards for years. Cyberbullying — that horrid byproduct of the Internet age — doesn't feel as hurtful to youth as when young people are harassed in person, according to a study published recently in the American Psychological Association's journal, Psychology of Violence. The worst kind of harassment, though, involves a mix of both in-person and digital interactions, the researchers wrote.More

Depression tied to some risk of Parkinson's disease
HealthDay News via Medline Plus
People with a history of depression seem to have a higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a large new study reports, adding to the growing body of research linking the two conditions. The Swedish study found that people diagnosed with depression were more than three times as likely as people without a history of the mood disorder to develop Parkinson's disease within the first year of depression. By 15 to 25 years later, those with depression were about 50 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's disease.More

HR's checklist for dealing with substance misuse in a workforce
People Management
An employee's use of illegal drugs, whether at work or at home, can affect relationships with colleagues, increase absence, reduce productivity and cause an unsafe working environment. The possession of illegal drugs, and buying or selling them, also exposes employees to the risk of criminal charges. Since March, it has become an offense to drive while over a specified limit of drug use. This is similar to the drink driving laws and means police no longer need to show an impairment to driving due to drugs, simply that the driver is over the limit. Employers should ensure that any drivers who use a vehicle for work purposes are aware of this change to the law, and understand its implications.More

Dealing with mental illness in workplace presents challenges
Argus Leader
The signs of mental illness often are overlooked in the workplace. Advocates say warning signs are brushed off or taken as signs of poor character by managers who are unprepared to identify or cope with the complexities of mental illness. Patrick Warren, a former division chief for Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, said his descent into severe bipolar disorder and criminal misbehavior went unchecked for years. He wasn't aware of his illness and wasn't ready to admit it to himself, and he thinks holes in the system left room for his illness to fester.More

Study: Up to 30 percent of adult depression traced to teen bullying
Los Angeles Times
Bullying may be responsible for nearly 30 percent of cases of depression among adults, a new study suggests. By tracking 2,668 people from early childhood through adulthood, researchers found that 13-year-olds who were frequent targets of bullies were three times more likely than their nonvictimized peers to be depressed as adults. Even when the researchers accounted for factors like a teen's record of behavioral problems, social class, child abuse and family history of depression, those who were bullied at least once a week were more than twice as likely to be depressed when they grew up.More

Wellness programs work if properly designed
Employee "wellness" (or well-being) has become quite the buzzword in workplaces. Smoking cessation courses, company fitbit competitions, yoga rooms — even "mindfulness" programs, which promote activities such as meditation, are being implemented in corporate settings. While you can't place a dollar value on personal well-being, there are documented costs associated with absenteeism, insurance claims, and turnover from employee disengagement and burnout. A properly designed and implemented wellness programs addresses and reduces many of these high-cost line items for corporations and therefore may yield a positive ROI.More

Critics say that a new study linking creativity and mental illness is lacking
The Verge
Genetic variations that can collectively increase a person's risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can also be used to predict creativity, according to a new study published in Nature Neuroscience. The study's researchers claim that this is the strongest argument yet for shared roots linking psychosis and creativity. But the correlation found in this particular study isn't very strong, some researchers argue. And without a proper definition for creativity, arguing that such a link exists could do more harm than good.More