Lorraine M. Martin, NSC president and CEO, and Joseph A. Reuter, Stericycle executive vice president and chief people officer, spoke to the media Monday morning to discuss the NSC’s new Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit. The toolkit, which will officially be released on September 18, includes more than two dozen resources for four specific groups found in a typical workplace setting: supervisors, HR professionals, safety professionals and employees.
More than 75 percent of people living with a substance use disorder are in the workforce, with the overall majority of preventable drug overdose deaths (70%) involving opioids.
NSC says many adults prescribed opioids by doctors subsequently become addicted or move from pills to heroin. Seventy percent of people who have misused prescription painkillers reported getting them from friends or relatives. Most people don't even know that sharing opioids is a felony.
People who take opioid painkillers for too long and in doses too large are more at risk of addiction and more likely to die of drug poisoning. The numbers are staggering. A survey by the Substance Abuse and Medical Health Services Administration says there are 4.3 million nonmedical users of painkillers. Nearly 2 million people have painkiller substance use disorders.
In an effort to combat this epidemic, NSC will launch their toolkit for the workplace in Washington, D.C., on September 18.