Opioid abuse is rampant, and it is having a ripple effect on the workforce. According to the CDC, the opioid epidemic kills an average of 115 Americans daily and, in 2016, around 66 percent of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths involved an opioid. The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths included methadone, oxycodone and hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin®).
Employers are managing their own symptoms of the crisis, such as employee leave, tardiness, decreased productivity, poor performance, work-related accidents, and increased workers’ compensation and health insurance costs. According to one study, 71 percent of U.S. employers have been affected by employee misuse of legally prescribed medications, including opioids.