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Workforce Drug  Use Rises by Double Digits

Free Resource for Employers Addressing Opioid Abuse

The Midwest Business Group on Health offers strategies to help train managers to respond to opioid misuse as well as use data to identify the costs, especially related to productivity.

Drug overdose, driven by opioids, is now the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S.

The opioid epidemic has affected 116 million adults in the U.S., resulting in up to $635 billion in medical costs and lost productivity.

To assist employers faced with managing this critical issue, the non-profit Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH) has launched a new pain management and opioid use/abuse toolkit. MBGH is one non-profit employer coalition of 130 mid, large and jumbo self-funded public and private employers, representing over 4 million lives and annually spending over $4 billion on health care.

 “The impact of opioid abuse to employers’ health care costs and productivity is significant with abusers costing nearly twice as much in medical expenses as non-abusers and missing nearly three times as much work as their peers,” said Cheryl Larson, MBGH president and CEO, recently when announcing the toolkit.

“We developed this resource to help purchasers understand the impact of substance use on their employees and family members and offer strategies around treatment and education on the potential danger of taking opioids for routine procedures and alternative pain management,” added Larson

The free resource offers best practices, strategies and links to valuable resources to support employers in improving the treatment of pain and addressing the impacts of abuse and misuse of opioid medications.

MBGH’s toolkit offers key strategies for employers including how to:

  • Address substance abuse in the workplace
  • Train managers to recognize and respond to pain and opioid misuse issues
  • Educate employees about pain and opioid misuse issues
  • Review health care benefits packages
  • Learn more about prescription opioid drug overdose policies and interventions
  • Use data to identify the costs, especially related to productivity, and other impacts of pain among employee populations


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