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Opioid Crisis: Pills, Heroin, Fentanyl

Saving Lives, Protecting Assets

 

Government not providing much resources for the Opioid Epidemic with "public health emergency"

- Burden falls on Companies and Employees to watch for Substance Abuse in the workplace...

 

President Trump on Thursday Oct 26, 2017 is stopping short of declaring a more sweeping "state of national emergency" for the opioid crisis that claimed 64,000 American lives last year. More than 140 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which equated to a school's graduation class or a 737 airplane crash every day. 

Kellyanne Conway, a senior counselor to the president, said "this is no longer someone else's co-worker, someone else's community, someone else's kid. Drug use knows no geographic boundaries or demographic differences."

opioid crisis epidemic public health emergencyAccording to USA Today, there is a distinction between “public health emergency” and a “presidential emergency”. The latter is what the president's own opioid commission recommended in July. Declaring a state of national emergency would give the president even more power to waive privacy laws and Medicaid regulations.

A more measured response, a “public health emergency”, demonstrates the complexity of an opioid crisis that continues to grow through an ever-evolving cycle of addiction, from prescription pain pills to illegal heroin to the lethal fentanyl.

By law, a "public health emergency" can only last for 90 days, but can be renewed any number of times. The opioid action would be the first public health emergency with a nationwide scope since a year-long emergency to prepare for the H1N1 influenza virus in 2009 and 2010.

Those "public health emergency" powers would, according to USA Today:

  • - Allow patients to get medically-assisted treatment for opioid addiction through telemedicine. 
  • - Give federal and state governments more flexibility in hiring substance abuse specialists temporarily and shift federal grant programs for people with HIV/AIDS to get substance abuse treatment.
  • - Make Dislocated Worker Grants available to people with opioid addiction through the Department of Labor. Those grants are usually available to people put out of work by a natural disaster, but a public health emergency could also make those grants available to people in treatment. 
  • - Tap the Public Health Emergency Fund, a special fund that gives HHS maximum flexibility in a health crisis. However, that fund has just $57,000 in it. A smaller city could spend twice that this year on naloxone alone, a drug that can instantly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

 

According to a recent article by Quest, here are 7 facts about opioids:

  1. 1. The National Safety Council (NSC) identified prescription drug misuse as a key issue because the epidemic affects 7 in 10 U.S. employers. Data from the NSC shows that 41% of employers do not currently drug test for synthetic opioids.
  2. 2. Opioid users miss twice as many days of work as people with addictions to other drugs. An employee with a pain medicine disorder misses an average of 29 days in a year compared to 14 days missed due to alcohol abuse, according to National Public Radio (NPR).
  3. 3. Opioid use by American men may account for a 20% decline in their participation in the U.S. labor force, according to a study by Princeton University looking at 15 years of data. The economist says “nearly half of men in their prime worker ages not in the labor force take prescription painkillers daily.”
  4. 4. Half of Americans (52%) tested in a recent Quest Diagnostics Health Trends study misused their prescription medications. The study also found dangerous drug combinations of opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol are common.
  5. 5. Overall positivity rates for heroin increased 146% between 2011 and 2015 in the general U.S. workforce, according to the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™.
  6. 6. A report from Pacira Pharmaceuticals said middle-aged women (aged 40 to 59 years old) are prescribed more opioids than other groups and twice as many as men in their same age group. Mostly prescribed post-surgery, these group accounts for 3.3 billion unused pills.
  7. 7. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “sales of prescription opioids nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2014, but there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain Americans report.”

The U.S. is in the middle of an opioid crisis - learn how employers can protect themselves. 

 

Create or Update a Drug & Alcohol Policy

policy

A company’s drug and alcohol policy should be fair and reasonable, clearly stated, fully explained and understood across the company, and compliant with local, state, and federal law in the areas the company has employees. Failure to do so may lead to monetary damages and statutory penalties.

Need help updating for Reasonable Suspicion? CleanFleet is a best-in-class testing service provider that can help companies with policy development from the ground up. 

Fill out the form and one of our staff will reach out to you to get you started. 

Reasonable Suspicion Training $89/person

Being a SUPERHERO means protecting your workforce, the workplace, the public, and your company. Another tool in your arsenal is Reasonable Suspicion Training and making sure your managers are updated and current on what to look for.

Our Online Reasonable Suspicion Training is recommended for your company’s workforce leaders to determine if and/or when an employee may be impaired and then know the necessary steps to take to protect your company and the employee as it relates to specific company drug and alcohol policy compliance and safety. 

The training will include the physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of probable workplace VILLAINS: alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances.

For more information on our online RST training and our pricing - fill out the form and we will reach out to you shortly.

 

On-site Testing

Studies show on-site testing has a higher rate of positives than clinic based testing, most likely because of the element of surprise. One of the tools a SUPERHERO has is creating and maintaining a drug-free workplace with little to no interruptions in your operations - and on-site collection may be the right option for you.

Let CleanFleet be your SIDEKICK of speed and convenience. For companies who are based-in or have operations from Battle Ground, WA to Salem, OR and from the Coast to Gresham, OR… CleanFleet will work with you to schedule and plan a test or series of tests suited to your needs, either during business hours or after, with one of our DOT certified collectors.

Not local? No problem. We have helped large companies with 10-20 sites nationwide to schedule on-sites for their random programs.

Fill out the form to get one of our staff to chat about the process and prices today!

 

Let CleanFleet be your SIDEKICK!

 

If you are interested in learning more about how we can help or want more information, please fill out the form below.