Opioid Crises in the Workplace

Drugs are an essential part of my life. I use some form of them every day. Vitamins every morning, statins at night, and I typically look for nutrient rich foods, snacks and drinks. Rarely, but on occasion, I’ll even take some Ibuprofen to reduce inflammation of some overused muscles after a workout, or long workday in the yard. My wife and my daughter are both pharmacists. Two of the best – in fact – they are absolutely the best I know. Smarter than most people, both should have gone to medical school. I’m blessed that I’ve got my own private counselors on all things that are drug related.

Unfortunately there’s a much larger challenge in our country today. Almost everyone I know knows of someone who has overdosed and some who have died from opioid addiction. We live in a rather vanilla middle class neighborhood and attend a rather conservative church in a quiet little town. We know of three individuals who have died recently here all of whom went to grade school years ago with my kids. One just died a few weeks ago. These are good kids from really good families who somehow got caught by this epidemic. And it’s an epidemic. The number of deaths that are happening from this scourge are staggering. Something has to be done.

As such, the local, state and federal officials are now starting to turn to employers and asking them to educate their employees on this challenge. The hope is that those employees who can become informed and trained on what to do will then be able to take this knowledge back to their homes and communities to address and help anyone and everyone who might have a problem with this addiction. So, if you are an employer, or can have some influence within your place of employment, please help join the growing movement to help all employees become aware of the challenges and some of the solutions that are available to help address this major problem. Because of the extent of this problem, your effort very likely could save not just one life, but several. Turn to your health care insurance companies and ask about their employer based programs on this topic, reach out to your employee assistance program and get their resources, turn to local community hospitals and clinics and ask about trainings, seminars or speakers who could communicate solutions to your employees. If this hasn’t affected you yet, these resources and solutions will be critical to you the moment this comes into you or your loved ones lives. -Dave

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