Web-based Drug-free Workplace Development

Period of Performance: 09/25/2001 - 03/31/2002

$103K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

THE Walsh Group, PA
Bethesda, MD 20817
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this project is to establish an Internet-based drug-free-workplace Resource Center for small businesses. The value in establishing drug-free workplace programs is well documented. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse [NHSDA] findings indicate that companies with such programs are associated with lower prevalence rates of current illicit drug use and heavy alcohol use among workers. For a variety of reasons small businesses tend not to deal with drug and alcohol issues. Consequently, as the NHDSA reports, the cost of drug use is disproportionately burdensome to small and medium business where 87 percent of illicit drug users are employed full-time. Using The Walsh Group's broad experience in establishing drug-free workplaces we propose to take the critical elements of a model program and develop an Internet based interactive site. Linking cost effectiveness of a drug-free workplace with the user-friendly and popular environment of the Internet should prove to reduce barriers and provide small businesses with the necessary information and services to develop and implement a program. Furthermore we intend to develop a mechanism to evaluate the use of the website, and utilize the information to demonstrate the feasibility and commercial viability of the concept. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The effectiveness of drug free workplace policies has been documented in the literature. Despite this, many small businesses do not have drug free workplace policies placing them at a disadvantage. Utilizing an Internet model to develop these programs will allow more small business to take advantage of the cost offsets and enhanced health and safety. Commercialization is possible by using advertising dollars to fund the site or through a fee-for-service model.