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Majority of U.S. Employers Directly Impacted by Prescription Drug Abuse

Drug and alcohol addiction is now a serious problem in the United States today, and it is an issue that has only been getting worse through the years.  Fortunately, many companies are stepping up to try and educate employees about prescription drug abuse and its dangers.  Also, many of these companies have allowed former addicts to return to work after completing treatment.

Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace

One of the areas that needs to be addressed is the simple fact that more and more workplaces in the United States today, from small, locally owned and operated businesses of only a few employees, all the way up to huge corporations with thousands of employees are struggling and suffering from prescription drug abuse problems amongst the employees at the company.

For some more insight on this, a 2007 study conducted by the Government Accounting Office, (GAO) found out that it is easy to beat the mandatory urine drug test that most businesses enforce.  Congressman Jim Oberstar, who is the chairman of the House of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who asked GAO to investigate, said that the report on this was, “Frankly astonishing, shocking and dismaying. You can manipulate the tests, you can mask substance abuse and go undetected on the roadways.”  This means of course that better tests need to be made and more care needs to be taken in the American workplace.

Opiate Pain Relievers are the Most Commonly Abused

For some more info on it, there was a 300% jump in employees testing positive for prescription narcotics from the years 2005-2009.  They tested positive whether they were prescribed the drugs or not.  A November 18, 2010, report by the organization of Quest Diagnostics also found that post-accident drug tests are four-times more likely to find narcotics than pre-employment drug tests are, (the percentages are about 3.7% vs. 0.78% realistically). Vicodin is the most frequently found narcotic prescription drug of abuse by far but there are many other common ones as well.

Opiate prescription pain relievers are now this nation’s most concerning substance for abuse by far,  However, the truth of the matter these days is that ninety percent of all prescription drug overdose deaths occur with an opiate pain reliever of some kind, which is the most common drug amongst employed Americans too.  Much of this is because the common ingredient for opiate pain relievers is morphine, the same active ingredient, (or one of many really), that is in the drug heroin as well.

Obviously, prescription drug abuse and general drug and alcohol addiction in the workplace need to be addressed.   With the help of addiction rehabilitation programs,  the number of lives destroyed or lost to drug abuse will diminish.

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