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Why Employers Should Address The Recent Spike In Drug Misuse And Overdose With Employees

 The Covid-19 pandemic has not only been a global public health crisis, it has been a collective traumatic event that has persisted for two years. While people have experienced varying levels of trauma and everyone’s reaction is unique, there has been a 25% global increase in anxiety and depression. At the same time, 29% of Americans who use drugs report they have increased their consumption since the start of the pandemic. With this recent rise in drug misuse, employers need to address the issue with their employees. While it’s common to believe, “Substance misuse isn’t an issue for our team members,” the fact is it is very likely affecting your employees or their family members. Employers should be concerned about any type of substance misuse among workers, but the opioid epidemic should be of special concern.

One easy, low-cost prevention tool is providing employees with at-home drug deactivation and disposal pouches that safely render medications inert and irretrievable. Combined with an employee education program around safe drug storage and disposal, employers can save as much as 40 cents per member per month on health plans by reducing claims associated with opioid use disorder.