The opioid crisis is a “worldwide pandemic.” No one is untouched, and no one immune.
Opioid addiction may strike anyone at any time. An opioid is an opium-like compound which, when introduced into the body, binds to one of the nervous system’s opioid receptors located in the brain.
Opioids are able to block the body’s feeling of pain, providing a positive for a person experiencing intense or chronic pain. Despite this benefit, opioids also have a propensity for addiction due to “short circuiting” of receptors, adding to the negative aspects of intense withdrawal symptoms which almost every user experiences. Most addicts find themselves in a cyclical whirlpool of using, suffering from withdrawal and falling off the wagon.
The impact on the workplace is devastating. The problem is not limited to any certain industry, region, or type of employment. The crisis affects employers and employees, as well as their families.
Even with a valid prescription, an employee cannot perform work in a safety sensitive environment while under the influence of opioids. Such influence causes a danger to the employee, as well as to his co-employees, requiring the employer to replace him with an employee who does not have opioids in their system.
The employer experiences lost productivity and increased training costs due to turnover. It is estimated that U. S. employers are losing as much as Ten Billion Dollars per year from absenteeism and lost productivity due to opioid abuse.
The opioid crisis has caused a huge ripple effect throughout our society, touching everyone’s lives. Employers, health plans, and governmental agencies are seeing huge cost increases caused by the opioid epidemic. These agencies are now working to find solutions to these spiraling costs.
If you, your family members, or your business has suffered loss as a result of opioid addiction, you may have a legal right to recover for your loss. If you would like to discuss your options, please contact us at (251) 625-0046.