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Prescription drug misuse impacting workplaces

March 16, 2017
by Tom Valentino, Senior Editor
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More than 70% of employers responding to a nationwide National Safety Council survey say their workplaces have been impacted by the misuse of prescription drugs. Reported effects of prescription drug misuse include: absenteeism or missed work, employee use of prescription pain relievers at work, positive drug tests and impaired/decreased job performance.

Among the survey’s other findings:

  • 71% of employers agree that prescription drug misuse is a disease that requires treatment, but 65% say it is a justifiable reason to fire an employee
  • Just 19% of respondents say they feel “extremely prepared” to deal with prescription drug misuse in the workplace
  • 57% of responding organizations drug test all employees, and of those who do, 41% don’t test for synthetic opioids
  • 70% of employers surveyed say they would like to help employees struggling with prescription drug misuse return to their positions after completing treatment

Founded in 1913, the National Safety Council is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road.