The Addiction Epidemic - Your New Focus for Workplace Safety

Written by on 1/25/2017 3:54 AM in , , , , . It has 2 Comments.

Addiction in the workplace knows no bounds, spanning all ages, races, and socioeconomic groups. Millions suffer the effects of legal and illegal drugs, with an estimated 20.8 million living with substance abuse disorders ranging from tobacco and alcohol to opioids. Unfortunately, only a fraction are being treated. Despite the fact that a similar number of people are suffering diabetes and cancer combined, there's nowhere near the same level of attention or resources being allotted to addiction disorders.

Paying the price
Presently, more Americans are using opioids than tobacco and one-in-five binge drink. The result? Alcohol’s economic tolls rack up an estimated $249 billion in costs; drugs another $193 billion. Substance abuse disorders cost the US more than $420 billion per year in health care costs, lost economic productivity, and cost to the justice system.

A brain disease, not a character flaw
Previously believed to be a disease of choice, substance abuse is a chronic illness that must be treated with the appropriate compassion and urgency. These disorders actually alter brain chemistry, affecting the reward and stress response systems, and reducing decision-making capacities.

Luckily, evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies exist for addressing multiple substance use disorders. Solutions that work and change peoples’ lives. From online to in-person intervention, programs are available that increase awareness of misuse, help individuals better manage stress – a prime reason for turning to these substances – and even help those who treat and manage the abuse and addiction disorders.

Protect your employees and your future. Step-up and implement treatment and prevention programs, and start fighting the risks of addiction in the workplace. Learn how with Minnesota Comp Advisor today.


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