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Opioids affect 75% of US workplaces: Study


Seventy-five percent of U.S. employers say they have been directly affected by opioids, but only 17% of them feel “extremely well prepared” to manage the issue, according to survey results released Monday by the National Safety Council.

The Itasca, Illinois-based organization surveyed 526 employers online, finding that 38% have experienced absenteeism or impaired worker performance as a result of drug use and 31% have had an overdose, arrest, a near-miss or an injury because of employee opioid use.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Eighty-six percent of employers believe taking opioids even as prescribed can impair job performance, yet only 60% have policies in place requiring employees to notify their employer when they are using a prescription opioid.
  • Half of employers are very confident they have the appropriate human-resources policies and resources to deal with opioid use and misuse in the workplace.
  • Seventy-nine percent are not very confident that individual employees can spot warning signs of opioid misuse.
  • Forty-one percent of employers would return an employee to work after he or she receives treatment for misusing prescription opioids.
  • Employers say they are more concerned about hiring qualified workers, employee benefits costs and worker compensation costs than they are about employee use of legal prescription opioids or illicit use/sale of opioids. However, opioid misuse – legal or illicit – can affect all other issues employers cited as more concerning.








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