Tag: Workplace

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On August 10th 2017, President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in the United States, known as the Opioid Epidemic.

More and more people are becoming aware of this rapidly growing issue that imposes a huge threat on American citizens.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include licit prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl and others, as well as the illicit drug heroin. 

Opioid

 

About 1.9 million Americans (0.8 percent) reported full-fledged opioid addiction*

What does this mean for you?

 Opioid Epidemic Affect On Employers

  • The use of opioids or prescription painkillers can result in drowsiness, inattentive behavior, dizziness, cloudiness, lack of motivation, and more. To ensure the safety of your staff, and others around them you should enroll yourself, and supervisors in reasonable suspicion drug training. This is a two-hour online course that informs on what signs to look out for, and the next steps one should take if these signs occur.Opioid epidemic
  • Reconsider becoming a drug-free workplace. Once it is known that your company is drug-free, it can limit the risk of work-related accidents, as well as prevent addiction from happening in an employee.
  • Create a drug and alcohol policy that allows your employees to confidentially share information with you about themselves. Make it known that your employees should feel comfortable sharing this information. Educate other employees on the current  Opioid Epidemic, and how they can help.

 Opioid Epidemic Affect On Employees

  • Being that the Opioid Epidemic has been declared a state of emergency, expect to see a few changes in company policies.

In the Department of Transportation, a request for a revision of the drug and alcohol policy has been made. If passed, the standardized drug test for the DOT will change from a 5-panel drug test to a 5-panel drug test with expanded opioid testing. While 5-panel drug tests include opiates, a SAMSHA regulated expanded test will examine for Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone, and Oxymorphone.

  • Be expecting to take and pass a pre-employment drug screening for any job you are applying for.

In May 2017, the Federal Reserve took a survey on the reason why employers could not feel low skilled positions. One reason concluded that employees could not pass a drug test.

  • Under the American Disabilities Act or ADA, addiction itself is not considered a disability. However, if you previously engaged in the usage of drugs or alcohol, and are currently participating in a rehabilitation program, or have been successfully rehabilitated, you are eligible for social security benefits.

Opioid epidemic

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Medical and recreational use of marijuana has become a growing trend in America. It is an extremely hot topic and has become the center of many biased discussions among US politicians.

Where is Marijuana Legal?

The use, possession, trade, cultivation, and transportation of marijuana is still illegal under federal law in the United States. Because of this, some states are have implemented their own regulations with regards to marijuana use.

 

States with legal recreational marijuana: 

1. Alaska

2. California

3. Colorado

4. Oregon

5.Massachusets

6. Nevada

7. Washington

States with medical marijuana: 

1. Alaska 2. Arizona 3. Arkansas
4. California 5. Colorado 6. Connecticut
7. Delaware 8. Florida 9. Hawaii
10. Illinois 11. Maine 12. Maryland
13. Massachusetts 14. Michigan 15. Minnesota
16. Montana 17. Nevada 18. New Hampshire
19. New Jersey 20. New Mexico 21. New York
22. North Dakota 23. Oregon 24. Pennsylvania
25. Rhode Island 26. Vermont 27. Washington

 

Cannabis is categorized under Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. It is because of this reason that cannabis remains illegal at the federal level.

Marijuana in the workplace

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While some point out advantages of marijuana use and its effectiveness treating medical issues, others point out the high-risk effects marijuana may have. Some proven effects of medical marijuana in the workplace include

1.Loss of productivity
2.Absenteeism
3.Increased risks of workplace injuries and accidents.

Loss of Productivity

Scientists have confirmed cannabis really does make people lose motivation. Research has confirmed long-term use of the drug affects the dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine, also known as the “happy” “feel-good” chemical of the brain is what inspires a person to get up and go. Levels of dopamine in a part of the brain called the striatum – found towards the side of the brain and involved in motivation – were lower in regular cannabis users. A recent study has suggested that individuals who have participated in long-term marijuana usage became more withdrawn, lethargic, and apathetic.

Absenteeism

Cannabis contains at least 60 types of cannabinoids, chemical compounds that act on receptors throughout our brain. THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuanas effects, including the euphoric high. THC resembles another cannabinoid naturally produced in our brains, anandamide, which regulates our mood, sleep, memory, and appetite.

Injuries and Accidents

Marijuana impairs attentiveness, motor coordination, and reaction time. It also impacts the perception of time and speed. A study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that marijuana negatively impacts driving performance, and other researchers have found that acute use of the drug increases the risk of crashes and fatal collisions. The drug has also been known to alter decision making, creating a disillusion of one’s morality, and knowing right from wrong.

Whats Next?

The legality of medical marijuana in the workplace continues to be an endless debate. Although the medical, or recreational use of marijuana is legal- most workplaces are still upholding their Drug-Free Workplace Policies. The most common reason for this being the safety aspect of allowing the use of marijuana among employees, knowing the potential risks.Policy makers are developing new regulations to uphold company values while new state laws are put into effect.

If you are interested in becoming a Drug-Free Workplace or need help writing a Company Substance Abuse Policy, visit us at www.accrediteddrugtesting.net.

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A study from Quest Diagnostics revealed that 4.2 percent of the U.S. workforce tested positive for illicit drugs in 2016, the highest rate since 2004. Substance Abuse in America is on the rise.

Today more then ever, people are aware of the negative impact substance abuse has on the economy.

Some say this trend is due to the opioid epidemic President Donald Trump has declared as a public health emergency. Blaming large pharmaceutical companies for pushing these products upon doctors and patients.

 

It is not just opioids that have been on the rise as the culprit of a positive drug test. A study done by Quest Diagnostics revealed that positive urine tests for cocaine increased for the fourth consecutive year, reaching a 12% increase in 2016.

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Drugs are negatively affecting the economy.

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You do not have to use drugs to feel the negative effects of a drug user.

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There are ways to stop this epidemic.

Substance Abuse and The Economy

Productivity losses are calculated as work that would be reasonably expected to have been done if not for drug use (a loss of potential income and output and therefore GDP) as a result of a reduction in the supply or effectiveness of the workforce. Lost productivity in the United States as a result of labor non-participation is a significant $120 billion dollars.

substance abuse

Drugs in the workplace have an extremely high cost for the employer. It is often the cause of workplace injuries and accidents. Drug abuse costs employers 81 billion dollars per year.

Effects of Substance Abuse

One of the main reasons why a potential employee is not able to become hired is the fact that they can not pass a drug test. This reason has lead employers to hire refugees that have come to America, to take the place of U.S citizens. Most refugees that come to America don’t even know what drugs are. In the United States, drug use is often talked about and almost glorified through music, social media, and other aspects of life. The percentage of American workers testing positive for illegal drugs has climbed steadily over the last three years to its highest level in a decade.

refugee workplace

Pictured above is Talib Alzamel, a 45-year-old Syrian refugee who works at Sterling Technologies, a plastic molding company based near the shores of Lake Erie.

This is just one of the major effects substance abuse has brought to America.

Preventing Substance Abuse

We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic.”. words that were spoken by President Donald Trump when he declared the Opioid Epidemic a public health emergency.

There are many ways to prevent drug abuse.

Stay up to date with your workplace substance abuse policies.
workplace substance abuse policy

As an employer, you can create a drug-free workplace program, that in most cases will benefit not only you as an employer but your employees as well.

Prevention not punishment

The key to ending this epidemic may just be to prevent further drug use. Knowledge of addiction and substance abuse help plays a key factor.

Drug Test Employees Regularly

The largest, most well-known companies in America all do one thing in common. Pre-employment drug screenings. As well as pre-employment screenings, most companies do random drug testing and reasonable suspicion drug testing.

Drug abuse in America is on a rise. What ways do you think you can help?