Skip to content

The prescription drug crisis hits the workplace

Drug abuse in the workforce is a growing challenge for American business. Increasingly, it’s legal drugs that are having a negative affect.

Most media outlets right now focus attention on the opioid epidemic’s role in keeping people out of work, but two-thirds of those who report misusing pain-relievers are already employed.

This does not only affect productivity, it’s outright dangerous.

In fact, a study by the National Safety Council (NSC) showed that worker’s comp claims for addicted employees can be up to 900 percent higher than other workers.

“Employers have a moral and legal responsibility to protect their employees. Addressing the use and abuse of prescription painkillers is as important as identifying drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace,” said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman.

The NSC also reported that 29 percent of employers reported impaired job performance due to prescription-painkiller use, while 15 percent cited an injury or near miss that they attributed to the drugs.

As many as 70 percent said their workforce had been affected in some way.

Be proactive

The most important piece of advice we can offer to minimize your risk? Be proactive, not reactive.

Employers can take simple steps to protect themselves and their employees:

  • Recognize prescription drugs impact the bottom line
  • Enact strong company drug policies
  • Expand drug panel testing to include opioids
  • Train supervisors and employees to spot the first signs of drug misuse
  • Treat substance abuse as a disease
  • Leverage employee assistance programs to help employees return to work

If you’re considering starting a drug testing program at your workplace, or improving one that already exists, be aware of the fact that there are a few key mistakes that many employers make. Take a look – and contact our team if you have any questions.

You May Also Like

Check out these additional posts from Mind Your Business.

Hire Qualified Seasonal Employees with a Certified Background Check

Black Friday 2019 is just weeks away, and retailers across the nation are already searching for qualified seasonal help. Finding good seasonal employees that are dependable, honest, and skilled in customer service means happier customers and larger sales. A worthy goal considering that last year Americans spent over $700 billion during the holiday season! Not…
Read More

Be Inspired: Podcast featuring MYB, Inc. Founder and CEO Karen Caruso

The word “no” can take you pretty far in life. Need proof? Listen to the podcast from September’s Power of Partnering Marketplace Conference. Karen Caruso, founder and CEO of MYB, Inc., reveals on GWBC Radio how the word “no” pushed her to use her existing job skills to create her own business. Learn how the…
Read More

Business Myth Busters: What Is a Certified Background Check?

In today’s business economy, background checks are a standard part of the pre-employment process. With so many options available, how do you ensure you’re receiving a certified background check? We tackle some of the myths surrounding the industry. Myth: A certified background check is too expensive.Truth: A low-cost or free report usually means the company…
Read More

Quality and Precise Results, On Time!

Let us know about your screening needs to get a custom quote. We work with businesses big and small as well as the government. Which means we have a package of solutions for your organization as well.