Prescription drug misuse is a national epidemic affecting individuals, families, and communities—and the workplace is no exception. A survey released by the National Safety Council found that 71 percent of employers are affected by prescription drug misuse in the workplace, but only 19 percent of employers feel “extremely prepared” to deal with the issue, and only 13 percent feel “very confident” in identifying workers who misuse opioids.
Research shows that employer supported and monitored treatment yields better sustained recovery rates than treatment initiated at the request of friends and family members. The National Safety Council offers the following guidelines for employers when addressing this urgent issue:
- Recognize prescription drugs have an impact on your workplace
- Put strong policies in place
- Expand drug testing panels to include opioids
- Train supervisors and employees how to spot signs of misuse
- Treat substance use problems as a disease
- Leverage employee assistance programs to help employees return to work
Bezoek Beacon’s Opioid Resource Center for resources on addressing the opioid crisis, including hands-on information about opioid treatment.