As Opioid Epidemic Rages, Worksite Policies Overlook Prescribed Drugs

Matt OlphinHealth Benefits, Human Resources, Large Group Benefits (100+), Risk Management, Small Group Benefits (2-50)

Opioid use in our communities, is an issue that is exploding at an exponential level.  As opioid abuse becomes more prevalent, it’s presence in the workplace is an increasing concern for all employers.  As stated below, most employers want to be part of the solution, meaning that they want to help employees return to work at the appropriate time in their recovery process.  Having the appropriate policies in place is critical to the success of that effort.  Please contact us if you would like assistance modifying your existing drug and alcohol policy, or creating a new policy to deal with these issues.

Questions? Contact Matt Pfeiffenberger, Vice President, Health Benefits Solutions, or Matt Olphin, CPCU, CSP, ARM, Vice President, Risk Control Services, Program Solutions.


Information on the opioid epidemic can be found in this article by Deborah Hersman, President and CEO of the National Safety Council, as reported by Stephen Miller, CEBS, on SHRM’s website

How to craft drug policies to include prescription medications

Seventy-one percent of U.S. employers say they have been affected in some way by employee misuse of legally prescribed medications, including opioids, according to a new survey.
“Most drug addictions today don’t begin on the street; they start in a doctor’s office with legal, valid prescriptions,” said Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, a nonprofit chartered by Congress. “Employers must understand that the most dangerously misused drug today may be sitting in employees’ medicine cabinets. Even when they are taken as prescribed, prescription drugs such as opioids can impair workers and create hazards on the job.”

Most employers have a drug-free workplace policy directed at illegal drugs, along with an alcohol abuse policy, but most don’t have a prescription drug policy in place, Hersman said during a press briefing. Meanwhile, “misuse has grown rapidly, and employers have struggled to keep pace.”

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