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What can businesses do to combat the opioid crisis?

The opioid crisis presents a particularly difficult set of issues for employers. Not only does drug misuse create a significant safety risk inside the workplace, it also effects productivity and bottom lines. Studies have shown that opioid addiction is costing U.S. businesses 10 billion dollars a year and rising.

What can businesses do to combat the opioid crisis?

  1. Review employee benefits: Work with insurance carriers to cover pain management alternatives to opioids. Choose plans that cover Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) treatments for addiction.

  2. Equip managers: Training managers to identify symptoms of drug misuse can be a powerful tool in catching early signs of addiction. Free trainings are available through the Missouri Hope Project. Sign-up at http://mohopeproject.org/.

  3. Monitor workers’ compensation claims: Reoccurrence of injuries that may result in opioid prescriptions can be a red flag. Be sure employees are aware of pain relief alternatives.

  4. Create an environment that welcomes disclosure: Stigma against addiction is the number one barrier stopping individuals from seeking help. Moreover, workers may fear losing their job or retaliation from their employer. By opening the conversation in the workplace and creating channels for help, you increase the chance of people coming forward.

  5. Increase awareness: Use your platform to increase awareness to employees about the issues surrounding the opioid epidemic and how they can help their friends and families. Check out our training materials and workplace posters.

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