Opioid abuse among employees is a growing and serious concern for employers in nearly every industry. The legal over-prescribing of Opioids has created an epidemic among the labor force. Addiction and recovery can be addressed in the work place when employers provide a safe environment that nurtures recovery phases employees will encounter during their journey to sobriety.

The National Safety Council has published an employer toolkit that includes presentations for your staff, safety protocols, and recovery partnership plans here: https://www.nsc.org/pages/prescription-drug-employer-kit

A healthy recovery relationship between an employer and an opioid addicted employee helps prevent the absenteeism, job turnover and healthcare costs associated with an employee who feels they need to keep their addiction a secret. It is important to understand that the trajectory of recovery may include some relapse behavior.

This info sheet from the National Safety Council provides information about how to build a recovery-friendly work environment. https://www.nsc.org/getmedia/3ded8f5b-32a2-4470-827e-e99eed6fe2d7/Building-Recovery-Friendly-Workplace.pdf.aspx

Opioid addiction can be managed within the workplace. When building your policies for a drug-free workplace, please keep the following in mind:

Every component of the drug free workplace program must:
  • Be developed in partnership with the organization’s legal advisers
  • Safeguard employee confidentiality
  • Comply with federal, state and local regulations, including but not limited to OSHA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Mental Health Parity Act and HIPAA
  • Comply with union and industry regulations

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