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Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace

Prescription drug abuse is a rampant problem in the U.S. While there may be an impression that the problem is restricted to teens or young adults who are in school or are unemployed, that is a serious misconception.

A recent national survey revealed that 70% of drug users are employed adults, calling attention to the fact that employers must be more aware of what their employees do and make efforts to make their workplaces more safe.

How Prescription Drug Use Affects Employers

The misuse of prescription drugs can have serious consequences in the workplace. Employees who work under the influence may exhibit impaired judgment or slow reactions. They are more likely to be inattentive and may exhibit problem behaviors. Ultimately, the worker’s productivity suffers as does the quality of their work. They may also be repeatedly absent and cause accidents that result in injury or death.

Defining Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse comes in many forms, and people who misuse these medications often do so in more than one way. Taking a medication that was prescribed for someone else, using more than the prescribed dosage, using the drug for something other than its intended use or ingesting it in a different manner than was intended are all examples of prescription drug abuse.

What Can Employers Do?

Many companies test for opioid use, but they do not screen for other prescription drugs. Tests that check for benzodiazepines and opioids may be extremely useful when it comes to identifying workers who may have a prescription drug abuse problem. These tests look for the use of medications that could make workers sleepy on the job, which makes it dangerous for them to do work that requires alertness. Updating drug testing policies can help to keep workers safe and protect the organization.

Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse in Kansas City Workplaces

If your organization needs help with regulating prescription drug abuse in your workplace ARCpoint Labs of Greater KC can help. We provide comprehensive drug testing for any workplace, including pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, and post-accident testing.

Our five convenient metro area locations –Lee’s Summit, Overland Park, Kansas City (downtown or in the Northland), and our newest location in Independence – make us the ideal choice for workplace drug and alcohol testing, including testing for prescription drug abuse.

To learn more about contracting ARCpoint Labs as your TPA, call (913) 815-0988 today!

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