NSC resources aim to help employers confront painkiller abuse

Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council has released a guide and toolkit to help employers understand what they can do to fight prescription painkiller abuse by workers.

Forty-five people die each day from overdosing on prescription painkillers, according to an NSC press release, and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveals that 23 percent of the U.S. workforce has misused prescription painkillers.

The council lists five items that employers should know about prescription painkiller use:

  • Opioid painkillers compromise employee safety.
  • Workers’ compensation claims are higher for employees who are prescribed opioids.
  • Employers play a vital role in helping employees seek and obtain treatment.
  • Opioid painkillers may delay recovery and return to work.
  • The likelihood of disability claims increases with use of opioid painkillers.

“Most employers understand how detrimental illegal drugs can be in the workplace, but few recognize the toll of the prescription painkiller epidemic,” NSC President and CEO Deborah Hersman said in the press release. “Strong Drug-Free Workplace Programs, comprehensive benefits packages, easily accessible Employee Assistance Programs and company-wide education are risk reduction efforts every employer must undertake to help protect the health and well-being of their employees, as well as company bottom lines.”