Brown Bag Presentation: Jeremy Milloy on addiction and the American workforce

(8742) Ford, Plants, Highland Park, Michigan

Join the Reuther Library this Wednesday, August 29, for a brown bag research presentation from Jeremy Milloy, PhD., who visits us from Trent University in Ontario.

Describing his work, Milloy explains, "Beginning in the 1960s, drug use by workers became a major societal concern in the United States and Canada. This discovery of a 'drug problem' among workers was a historic shift with meaningful consequences for workers, employers, unions, and the North American workplace. Adding concerns about drug abuse to existing concerns about alcohol abuse shifted workplace health in the direction of an employee-assistance model that dealt with mental health, relationships, and career and financial counselling alongside substance dependence: an unprecedented intervention by employers into the most intimate aspects of their employees’ lives. We know little about the historic impact of this entwinement of addiction recovery and the workplace setting on workers, workplaces, or public health. This reflects a wider truth: the relationship between addiction and the North American workplace has yet to be adequately historicized.

To help fill this gap, my work examines the impact concerns about addiction had on work, workplace cultures, class consciousness, and class conflict between 1965-95, while also investigating the reverse: how the involvement of North American businesses influenced concepts of addiction and recovery. My project seeks to answer the following questions: How did concerns over addiction change work, workplaces, and work cultures in North America beginning in the 1960s? What consequences did these concerns have for workers’ relationships with their employers, their coworkers, and their unions? What were the public policy and public health implications of these developments? And how have corporations, unions, and workers shaped definitions of addiction, recovery, and interventions intended to combat addiction?"

Please feel free to bring a lunch and your questions for Jeremy.

Reuther Conference Room
2nd floor, Reuther Library
5401 Cass Ave.
12-1pm, August 29, 2018.