4 issues the opioid epidemic creates for employers

The CDC Foundation's new issue of Business Pulse identifies four critical issues facing employers in relation to the nation's opioid overdose epidemic.

The CDC Foundation — an independent, nonprofit organization created by Congress — connects the CDC with private-sector organizations to build public health programs. Business Pulse serves as the foundation's digital publication geared toward providing resources for employers.

Here are four areas of concern for employers pertaining to America's opioid overdose epidemic.

1. Reduced productivity: The human cost of the nation's struggle with opioid abuse translates into a significant decrease in workforce productivity. In 2013, the estimated lost productivity for U.S. workers with opioid abuse disorders totaled $20.4 billion, according to Business Pulse.

2. Economic burden: In 2013, opioid dependence, abuse and overdoses cost the United States $78.5 billion, with $29 billion of those losses attributable to increased healthcare costs associated with addiction.

3. Side effects: Opioids can induce a number of side effects that jeopardize workplace safety. These side effects include confusion, depression, nausea, constipation, drowsiness, enhanced sensitivity to pain, overdose and death.

4. Lack of coverage: Health insurance does not always cover non-opioid pain control therapies like exercise therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. This means employees are forced to rely exclusively on opioids to mitigate their pain.

To learn more, click here.

More articles on opioids: 
CDC: Likelihood of chronic opioid use spikes with prescriptions longer than a few days 
4 things to know about the rising rates of chronic pain in the US 
23 lawmakers call on Trump to add $9.3B to 2018 budget to combat opioid epidemic

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