Substance Use and the Workplace

Building safe and healthy workplaces for all employees

2019 Fall Symposium
Friday, November 15, 2019, 9 AM - 4 PM
University Place Conference Center
310 SW Lincoln St, Portland, OR 97201

Sponsored by the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, and Portland State University Occupational Health Psychology Program.


This symposium will start by presenting the current knowledge regarding substance use (cannabis, alcohol, opioids, and other substances) and its impact on workplace safety and employee health. Building on the knowledge of these detrimental effects this symposium will also present innovative programs of workplace solutions for prevention and intervention. Our expert panel will propose ideas and tools that can help employees and organizations prevent and mitigate negative outcomes taking us from awareness to action.

Online Registration now Open: Register Now

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Keynote Speaker: Update on the Nation’s Opioid Overdose Epidemic from CDC/NIOSH
    Casey Chosewood, MD, MPH, Director of the Office for Total Worker Health at the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH)

    This timely update on the nation’s opioid overdose epidemic will provide the latest surveillance trends and health impacts of the evolving opioid crisis.  L. Casey Chosewood, MD MPH, NIOSH’s Total Worker Health® Director and a member of CDC’s Opioid Response Coordinating Unit, will share emerging evidence of the epidemic’s strong connection to workplace, working conditions and other worker issues, as well as disparities across industries and occupations, and other valuable insights for employers, occupational health psychologists and other OSH professionals. He will share the latest resources, policy approaches and workplace interventions critical to a successful workplace response to the opioid crisis.  Special attention to safety sensitive work, impairments associated with opioid use disorder, and return to work issues after treatment will be given.

  • Managing Behavioral Problems In the Workplace: The Challenge of Substance Abusers
    Jerry Gjesvold, Manager of Employer Services at Serenity Lane, Oregon

    Description: In my many years of assisting employers developing Drug Free Workplace Programs the most frequent mistake made is not adequately training supervisors on how to identify and intervene with employees who come to work questionably "fit to perform safely". The content will help employers identify "best practices" in reducing these risks and help identify the most important skills needed by the supervisors to promote a safer workplace.

    Jerry has been a consultant and trainer for companies on the west coast since 1983. He is currently Manager of Employer Services with Serenity Lane Health Services, where he has been employed since 1979. Jerry specializes in matters of policy and procedures related to the management of alcohol and other drug problems in business and industry. He is a popular public speaker who weaves his own personal experience of addiction and recovery into his presentations. He has a bachelors degree from the University of Oregon and has done graduate work there in health education. Jerry served for 16 consecutive years (from 1998 – 2004) on the Oregon Governor’s Advisory Committee on DUII Legislation. He writes a monthly column for a Eugene newspaper on alcohol and drug related topics and is a regular guest on KPNW radio.

  • Cannabis and the Workplace (working title)
    Nicole Bowles, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, OHSU

    Dr. Bowles graduated with her Ph.D. from Rockefeller University and went on to earn a master's in clinical epidemiology from Weill Cornell Medical College as a Health Disparities and Community Engagement Research Fellow. Dr. Bowles who joined Dr. Shea's laboratory in August 2016 is currently funded by a Ford Foundation Fellowship; broadly her research focuses on the interplay between stress, endogenous circadian rhythms, and the endocannabinoid system in humans.

  • Title TBA
    Dennis McCarty, Ph.D.,  Professor OHSU-PSU School of Public Health

    Dennis McCarty, Ph.D., a Professor in the Department of Public Health & Preventive Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, works at the intersection of policy, research and practice assessing the organization, financing, and quality of prevention and treatment services for alcohol and drug disorders. He serves as the Director of the Education Core for the Methamphetamine Abuse Research Center (P50 DA018165), the co-Principal Investigator for the Western States Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (U10 DA015815), and the Principal Investigator for an evaluation of the impacts of Oregon’s Coordinated Care Organizations on prevention and treatment for alcohol and drug use disorders (R33 DA035640).  Dr. McCarty is the Academic Director for the University of Amsterdam’s Summer Institute on Alcohol, Drugs and Addiction – a two week course that uses Dutch policy perspectives on drug use disorders to introduce the neuroscience, genetics, treatment and prevention of alcohol and drug use disorders.  Between 1989 and 1995, Dr. McCarty directed the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse Services for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Currently, he serves on the Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission and the Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse. He received a doctorate in social psychology from the University of Kentucky.

  • Speaker 5: Coming soon
  • Panel, Q & A with all presenters
    Facilitated by Charlotte Fritz, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology, faculty member within the Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) Graduate Training Program, Portland State University

Registration Fees (includes breakfast, lunch, refreshments and parking). Online registration will open September 15, 2019.

$60 - By November 12, 2019
$30 - Reduced fee (Oregon government agencies - city/county/state; educational institutions; labor unions; companies with fewer than 25 employees; non-profit organizations; students) (must register online not register at door day of).
$20 - Live webinar attendee
Please note: Cancellation policy posted with online registration details.

Parking passes will be provided through your registration, although, as always we encourage you to use public transportation, carpool or other alternative and healthy modes of transportation.

Online Registration now Open: Register Now