Employee Assistance Program

 St. Dimitrie Program developed the project: „I deserve a chance – information, evaluation and counseling project for employees with alcohol and other drugs abuse and addiction” during 1st of September 2013 – 31st of august 2014.

The project is co-financed by Switzerland through The Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme to Reduce Economic and Social Disparities within the Enlarged European Union with a co-financing value of CHF 73.239,61

With the character of a „pilot project” it approached a very real social problem, namely alcoholism and substance addiction, by offering a good-practice model for intervention in the field of strategies used by employers for their addicted employees.

The general objective of the project is to diversify the offer of integrated social services for addiction recovery in the city of Cluj-Napoca, in order to enhance retention at the workplace of employees with substance abuse and addiction and to decrease the social exclusion risk for them and their families.

Partner: The Romanian Association for Addiction Counseling – A.R.C.A.

Main activities and results of the project:

  1. Offering information to 62 public and private companies from Cluj-Napoca about the disease concept of addiction and intervention strategies with employees with alcohol/drugs addiction.
  2. Outreach to over 110 general doctors and occupational medicine doctors from Cluj-Napoca about the disease concept of addiction and early identification and intervention strategies.
  3. Panel Group with 20 participants from the social-medical field and employers – 25 September 2013.
  4. 2 Conferences: Initial conference:

    • ”Alcoholism at the work place – early intervention strategies” – 29th October 2013 with 50 participants and the Final Conference
    • ”Employee Assistance Program” – 28th august 2014 with 74 participants.
  5. Pilot project implemented in 5 companies from Cluj-Napoca, over 9 month

    • 4 Training workshops for human resource personnel - 20 hours - November 2013 – ”Early identification and brief intervention strategies”
    • Monthly information sessions with over 1000 employees, with topics regarding the understanding of the disease of addiction, prevention strategies for adults and children, different types of addiction, family issues and recovery process. There were over 200 information sessions during Dec. 2013 – August 2014.
    • Evaluation of 108 people for alcohol/drugs/ addictive behavior
    • oOutpatient Counselling and aftercare services for 27 persons affected by addiction directly or codependents.
  6. Editing and printing over 100 number of titles of informative flyers and brochures on the disease of addiction and recovery solutions. The most important result was the printing of the first ”Manual for the clients recovering from the disease of addiction – Return from the Abyss” – authors: Claudia Varga and Nicoleta Amariei.

Why the project: „I deserve a chance” is important for the local and national community:

  • It offered a good practice model for intervention strategies with employees with alcohol and drug problems in the corporative field.
  • An oportunity to manifest the concept of social responsability, by the employers, by offering the employees a chance to recover, instead of hiring them.
  • Promoting change in the strategies of the companies – regarding the relationship between employer and employees.
  • Reducing the social stigma in addmitig the existence of a problem with alcohol or drug addiction.