The painful truth: Prescription drug abuse on the rise at work — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

The painful truth: Prescription drug abuse on the rise at work

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in HR Management,Human Resources

Employee drug abuse continues to be the trend that just won’t go away. And it’s not just illegal drugs causing problems these days.

Drug-testing company Quest Diagnostics estimates that the use of prescription painkillers by American workers has increased by more than 50% in the last 10 years. More than 70% of prescription drug abusers hold jobs, raising the risk of work-related injuries.

It’s such a problem in Florida that the state Society of Interventional Pain Physicians has launched an educational campaign to fight it. The group offers three ways employers can spot, and fight, drug abuse in the workplace:

  • Provide materials to educate employees on the harm of prescription drug abuse.
  • Make it clear that your policies don’t permit dangerous abuse of prescription drugs in the workplace.
  • Train supervisors to identify substance-abusing employees. Some tip-offs: increased absences, decreased productivity and involvement in accidents both on- and off-the-job.

Advice: Consult your attorney to make sure your policies don’t run afoul of ADA protections for workers who legitimately need prescription painkillers.

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