the health & safety of your employees
As the opioid epidemic worsens, addiction impacts victims of all socioeconomic backgrounds. This causes employers, regardless of the industry in which they work, to be negatively impacted. The National Business Group on Health estimates that employers lose approximately $26 billion per year in costs associated with the abuse of prescription medications.
The first step to addressing the opioid epidemic in the workplace is to consult with human resources personnel and/or legal counsel for more information about the role of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and other statewide civil rights measures.
Typically, one or more of the following options is available to employers for strengthening opioid prevention efforts at the office:
- Evaluate your company’s drug policy for its emphasis or lack thereof on narcotic and opioid prescription painkillers.
- Consider integrating prescription medications into your company’s drug testing program.
- Educate employees about prescription painkiller abuse: Hold safety meetings or send safety memos that review the dangers associated with long-term opioid use. Discuss what state laws say about driving while under the influence of prescription medications. Remind employees to safely store their medications and not to share them.
- Ensure that supervisors and managers are aware of the company’s drug policy and drug testing practices, and train them to recognize and properly address signs of potential employee impairment.