Opiate Addiction in the Workplace

Opiate Addiction in the Workplace

Emergency room deaths by opiate overdose have now surpassed overdoses from cocaine or methamphetamine, combined. This is really saying something, in 2015, two-thirds of the 33,000 drug overdose death toll was opiate-related. 

Who Are Addicts?

The typical depiction of an opiate addict in the media is unemployed, homeless, and criminal, getting money for drugs through street crime. This depiction certainly has its place in our history, since opium and heroin became pervasive in the United States during the 90s. Now, many opiate abusers take prescription painkillers to fuel their habit, these are people who have jobs, families, and seem outwardly stable. Ultimately, their secret will kill them, as they will either move onto street heroin or overdose without friends or family being aware that they are an addict.

Employed Opiate Addicts

It was estimated by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), that 10-12 percent of employees use alcohol or illegal drugs while at work. This number does not include those who abuse opiate prescriptions at work too. This percentage, however, is skewed by certain industries that have a higher rate of abusers than others such as construction jobs, retail, and manufacturing workers. It is not the employees that take their prescription has prescribed, it is those who overmedicate.

How to Approach Workplace Drug Problems

A very simple way to eradicate your workforce of dangerous users is drug testing. Many employers with policies and procedures for pre-employment testing, reasonable suspicion testing, and post-accident testing, along with referrals to their Employee Assistance Programs. It is important, as an employer, to encourage employees to overcome fear, stubbornness, pride, denial, etc. and come forward to ask for help, before there is an accident due to worker impairment.

TEST SMARTLY LABS OFFERS ACCURATE AND CONFIDENTIAL DRUG TESTING SOLUTIONS. IF YOUR BUSINESS IS IN NEED OF DRUG TESTING, PLEASE CONTACT TEST SMARTLY LABS TODAY OR CALL (816) 800-9699.

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