Welfare Notes - May 2004

May, 2004

Those who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction do not set out to destroy themselves, their family, and their working career. Rather, these dire consequences are the effect of the vicious cycle of abuse and addictions.

According to a company that provides workplace drug tests nationwide, workplace drug use is on a steady decline. Their reports indicate that drug use on the job is down almost 10% since 1988 based upon employees they have tested for drugs. However, encouraging as these reports are, workplace drug and alcohol use remains a serious problem and could lead to disastrous events in the maritime industry.

Selecting drug or alcohol rehab for yourself or a shipmate could be one of the most important decisions you will ever make. The SUP Welfare Plan has two plans to help members who may find themselves of in need of counseling or rehab. The Employee Assistance Program enables participants who encounter drug or alcohol abuse problems to call a twenty-four hour, seven day a week confidential toll free number for counseling and assistance. This plan is completely anonymous and confidential. The benefit is administered by Health Management Center and may reached toll free at 1-888-215-8903.

The Welfare Plan also offers a program that will provide alcohol and/or drug abuse rehabilitation services for eligible members at a designated treatment center. This is a 28-day program, and a benefit that is limited to one rehabilitation per active member. No benefit is payable without pre-authorization from the Plan Office. Your medical providers may also carry a rehab or counseling benefit. Another option available to members is to check with Kaiser, Group Health, or Health Net if you feel you need assistance.

The recent crackdowns on mariners by the shipping companies and the U.S. Coast Guard indicate that they really mean business! Not addressing your drug or alcohol problem WILL have you sent ashore, possibly for good. Please contact the Plan Office in complete anonymity if you have any questions on these benefits.