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By Scott LaNeve

January 24, 2020

Adults aged 25 to 54 years have the highest rates of opioid overdose deaths and also make up a significant portion of the U.S. workforce.1,2  While the average worker misses 10.5 days per year, workers with opioid use disorder miss an average of 29 days per year. Worse yet, more than 5 percent of workplace deaths are overdoses.3

Recent research from The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found that areas of the country with higher opioid prescription rates have decreased employment rates for prime-age men and women. They found this decline in labor force participation rates has also contributed to depressing the local economy.4

To help employers cope with opioids and the workplace, the National Safety Council (NSC) launched the Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit. The kit includes sample policies, fact sheets, presentations, 5-minute safety talks, posters, white papers, reports, and videos to help create a workplace opioid safety program. The goal of the kit is to help employees stay safe when being prescribed an opioid and identify early warning signs of misuse to help connect them with proper support.5

Identifying signs of opioid misuse early is critical to preventing substance use disorder and overdose. In 2016, 44% of all workers’ compensation claims with prescriptions had a least one prescription for opioids.6 Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and most states call for regular monitoring of patients who are prescribed opioid therapy. Monitoring patients helps healthcare providers intervene early to prevent addiction and overdose.

hc1 Opioid Advisor® makes following these prescribing guidelines easier by providing automated, intelligent data, so healthcare providers can retrieve and compare information about a patient’s prescribing history and opioid use in real-time with a single click. Learn more and request a demo here.

 

References

  1. (11 Jan 2019). CDC’s Response to the Opioid Overdose Epidemic. https://www.cdc.gov/opioids/strategy.html.
  2. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (4 Sept 2019). Employment Projections. https://www.bls.gov/emp/tables/median-age-labor-force.htm
  3. Meyer, C. (1 Nov 2019). Opioids in the Workplace: Impairment, Illicit Substances, and Insider Threat. Security Management. https://www.asisonline.org/security-management-magazine/articles/2019/11/opioids-in-the-workplace-impairment-illicit-substances-and-insider-threat/
  4. Dionissi, A., Fee, K., Schweitzer, M.E. (2019). Opioids and the Labor Market. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 18-07R2. https://doi.org/10.26509/frbc-wp-201807r2.
  5. EHS Today. (19 Sept 2019). NSC Toolkit Assists Employers with Opioids in the Workplace. https://www.ehstoday.com/safety/article/21920378/nsc-toolkit-assists-employers-with-opioids-in-the-workplace
  6. Sicoi, P. (18 Aug 2019). Opioids and Your Security Clearance: A Prescription for Trouble. ClearanceJobs. https://news.clearancejobs.com/2019/08/18/opioids-and-your-security-clearance-a-prescription-for-trouble/
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