It’s estimated over 300,000 emergency room visits occur each year due to opioid misuse. And it’s not just emergency rooms which are affected—workplaces are, too. Some employees misuse prescription medications to improve job performance, overcome lack of sleep, or to alleviate pain. Other employees are affected by the opioid crisis at home, when their family (children and aging parents) misuse, as well.

There are clear implications for employee health, absenteeism, productivity, and safety. In late 2016, two national surveys indicated the need for more prescription misuse prevention in workplaces. Although 70 percent of employers are negatively affected by prescription misuse, less than 25 percent actually educate workers on prevention. Also, at least 30 percent of employers provide no access to alternative treatments that can be especially helpful in addressing pain.

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