Grayken Center Launches Employer Resource Library to Support Workers Experiencing Addiction

The Grayken Center of Boston Medical Center has launched its Employer Resource Library, a set of tools and resources to support organizations in understanding and addressing substance use disorders (SUDs) in the workplace.

The library is organized into five sections, including tips on engaging the entire organization, ways to educate managers, and sample policies and practices. There are 25 downloadable tools to support making strategy actionable.

Director Michael Botticelli said the idea for the resource arose out of Grayken’s work within BMC, which employs over 6000 people. Substance use issues and the opioid epidemic have had a major impact on staff, both as caregivers and employees, and there was a recognized need for resources and support.

The Grayken Center had also started to get inquiries from other Boston-based employers realizing that their own employees and families were feeling the impact from a personal perspective. The issue of addiction cuts across all sectors and employers; as one staff member noted, “No employers, including addiction providers, are immune to this.”

With strong support and involvement from BMC’s CEO Kate Walsh, Grayken staff conducted a survey (available for other employers to use) to learn about problem areas, held focus groups to learn what BMC could do, and with HR staff in particular, to find out what tools were needed. They combined this information with what resources are already out there, to share with other employers as templates.

 “I felt like we hadn’t engaged employers in a meaningful way as a response to the opioid epidemic. We [also] need to do a better job of providing care for the caregivers – first responders, community members. We need to think about this further and find ways to better support them,” said Botticelli.

The Grayken Center hopes to highlight practices from across Massachusetts and other states – for example, New Hampshire has started a recovery-friendly employer initiative. If your organization has special resources to help staff with their own recovery, or with the impact of caring for people experiencing SUDs, let us know at!