HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — They serve us our food and bring us our drinks, but did you know that hospitality workers are especially vulnerable to substance use disorder?

“At the same time, no matter what industry you are in from restaurants and lodging to attractions and entertainment venues, it’s vitally important to ensure that the work workforce is safe both physically and mentally,” said Michael Chapaloney, executive director of tourism at the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development.

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According to the American Addiction Centers, the hospitality and food service industries had an 11.8% rate of heavy alcohol use in the last month, and the highest rate within the last year at 16.9%. In December 2022, both industries saw the highest use of illicit drug use at 19.1%.

“I personally have a lot of experience with it in my own organization. We lost a very dear member this past year to an overdose. I lost my brother in 2009, “said C&J Catering owner Jamie Berger.

More than 5,300 Pennsylvanians have lost their lives due to overdosing in 2022.

“The administration is more committed now than ever to embracing the tools and technology we have to get people the help that they need,” said Steve Ross, special assistant to the secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

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Since May 2021,12,000 people enrolled in a program called “Just Five,” which is designed to increase awareness of substance abuse disorder.

Recently the program made some updates, and more changes are to come.

“This is a fantastic program, and what it does is really provide a lot of resources, especially for small businesses that may not have their own resources to develop their own programs. The Commonwealth has done it for us, and it is fantastic,” said Berger.

Now ‘Just Five’ has six interactive learning modules that each take five minutes to complete. The modules range from the dangers of opioids to the science of addiction.

For a local business owner like Berger, the “Just Five” program is needed more than ever.

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“It is big, and we work very hard to provide an environment for our staff that is wholesome and that is caring and loving,” said Berger.

You can find the Just Five programs as well as other substance use disorder resources at Justfive.org.