Accidental Deaths In Pennsylvania Rise 15% in One Year, Driven By Opioid Overdose

Denise GillinNews

The National Safety Council’s Stop Everyday Killers campaign is a powerful tribute to the lives lost to opioids. Pittsburgh – According to National Safety Council analysis of federal data, 1,086 more Pennsylvanians died accidentally in 2016, an increase of 15% over 2015, and 78% of those deaths were caused by opioid overdose. In response to the epidemic – recently declared a statewide disaster emergency by Gov. Tom Wolf – the Council made Pittsburgh its first stop on a nationwide tour of the NSC exhibit, Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis. Read more >>> Everyone has a story of how addiction has touched their life. That is why Murray Associates chose to partner with Compass …

Often, Opioid Abuse Becomes a Family Affair

Denise GillinHealth Benefits, News, Risk Management

Opioid addiction often starts in the family medicine cabinet, a new study warns. If someone is taking prescription opioids for pain, such as OxyContin, it’s more likely that others living in the home will also get an opioid prescription, the researchers found. “Prescription opioid use may spread within households, and patients may need to consider the risks to other family members,” said lead researcher Marissa Seamans. She is a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health’s department of mental health in Baltimore. Read more here >>>

Steep Rise In Deaths For People Hospitalized After Opioid OD

Denise GillinNews

The death rate has quadrupled among people whose opioid use lands them in a hospital, a new U.S. study finds. More opioid users are being sent to the hospital due to a life-threatening overdose than for treatment of drug addiction, the researchers noted. About 2 percent of people hospitalized for opioid use died in 2014, compared with 0.4 percent prior to 2000, the new analysis of federal hospital data revealed. The same analysis showed that hospitalizations due to opioid or heroin poisoning have increased in recent years, even as the rate of people seeking treatment of opioid addiction at a hospital has gone down, said senior researcher Dr. Zirui Song. He is an assistant professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical …

Five Prevention Strategies to Mitigate the Abuse of Construction’s Drug of Choice

Denise GillinConstruction, News

This is an excerpt of an article by Gary Clevenger MS, CSP, CRIS, RRE, the national risk control director, construction at CNA Insurance. To read the full article >>>   What can a construction employer do to thwart opioid abuse among its workers? These five prevention strategies can help: Educate employees about responsible prescription opioid use— Inform your workers about the potency of these drugs, how they work, any drug interactions and how they can become addictive. Understand risk factors surrounding opioid use, such as doctor shopping and physician dispensing. Provide support and a robust return-to-work program for injured employees— Your employee’s immediate supervisor can help prevent any further injury to the worker by refocusing his/ her injury away from …

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 …

Opioid Abuse Takes a Toll on Workers and Their Employers

Matt OlphinHealth Benefits, Human Resources, Risk Management

Three decades ago, the treatment Michele Zumwalt received for severe headaches involved a shot of the opioid Demerol. Very quickly, Zumwalt says, she would get headaches if she didn’t get her shot. Then she began having seizures, and her doctor considered stopping the medication. Read the full article on NPR’s Website. If you have questions about drug addiction with regard to safety, contact Matt Olphin, CSP, ARM, Vice President, Risk Control Services, Program Solutions.