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Prescription drug abuse and the workplace

Prescription drug abuse, such as the abuse of prescription opioids, is a major issue here in the United States. The impacts of this problem can be felt in many different places. This includes the workplace. Recently, the National Safety Council released the results of a survey regarding prescription drug abuse and the workplace. The survey was of businesses.

The survey underscores how common it is for businesses to be impacted by this type of drug abuse. Of the surveyed businesses, 70 percent said their workers were affected by prescription drug abuse.

The survey results also suggest that, despite the prevalence of prescription drug abuse issues in the workplace, many businesses aren’t prepared to respond to such issues. Being “extremely prepared” to handle such issues was something only 19 percent of the surveyed employers reported.

Not being prepared for issues like those regarding prescription drug abuse by workers could have serious consequences for a business in the event such issues come up. It could result in a business making missteps in its handling of the situation. In some instances, such missteps could lead to companies facing legal action from their workers.

Among the steps businesses can take to prepare for the possibility of prescription drug abuse issues coming up regarding their workers is including prescription drug abuse in their substance abuse policies. In a previous post, we discussed the important role clear and solid drug abuse policies can play for employers.

Skilled attorneys can help California businesses with developing appropriate policies and practices related to significant workplace issues such as worker prescription drug abuse.

Source: HealthDay, “7 in 10 U.S. Workplaces Hit by Opioid Abuse: Survey,” Robert Preidt, March 10, 2017