Opioid abuse has taken center stage in many political discussions. Yet, many employers have trouble understanding how to help their employees suffering from opioid abuse. For this reason, the National Safety Council (NSC) has released a thorough guide to give companies ideas for keeping their workforce healthy through opioid abuse prevention and intervention.
Data collected by the NSC suggests that three out of four people surveyed have been impacted in some way by the opioid epidemic. At the same time, fewer than one in five individuals understands what to do when they see opioid misuse in themselves or someone they care about. Only 21 percent are confident they would notice early opioid misuse red flags. NSC’s toolkit creators hope to bridge this knowledge gap to stem the tide of opioid deaths with the help of employers. The message of the toolkit offers a more positive outlook by giving employers the skills and ideas they need to inform and help their workers.
The opioid epidemic is being fought on many fronts. Employers are in particularly good positions to make a lasting, measurable impact. Full-time workers spend more waking hours on the job than at home. If those who are abusing opioids can get assistance at work, they may have a better opportunity to move away from their dependency.
Although the NSC’s toolkit covers a lot of information, it focuses on a few key areas; one of them being what to do if an employee is having side effects from opioid abuse. To that end, the toolkit recommends that all employers have naloxone on hand. Naloxone helps reverse the symptoms of opioid misuse. It has gained favor among emergency medical personnel who routinely keep a supply to help victims of opioid overdose.
The toolkit also concentrates on ways to support a workplace that is a drug-free zone. For instance, employers are encouraged by the NSC to include opioid addiction recovery resources as part of their benefits through their employee assistance program (EAP). That way, employees who acknowledge their problem can find ways to beat their opioid abuse without fearing stigma from their employer.
Human resources departments and personnel unfamiliar with how to tackle opioids in their documentation and handbooks will appreciate the sample policies available within the toolkit’s pages. They will also appreciate the accompanying pre-written presentation to announce the policy staff-wide. Those who advocate for the NSC’s toolkit hope it will bring about an era where workers with opioid habits can finally overcome their addictions. Supporters believe that education in the workplace can spread to families and communities.
If you were injured on the job or suffered a work-related illness, contact the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Gross & Kenny, LLP today. Call us at 267-589-0090 or contact us online for a free consultation. We will fight for the benefits you rightfully deserve for your injuries. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.
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