Recent estimates have claimed that the use of prescription painkillers by workers in the United States has risen by more than 50 percent in just the past 10 years. This dramatic increase raises concerns about the rise of prescription drug abuse, especially in the workplace. Understanding prescription drug abuse and the reasons behind this rise will help you keep your workplace drug-free.
Understanding Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse leads to about 44 deaths per day in the U.S., according to the CDC. While the use of prescription drugs has risen, reports of pain have remained about the same, which raises suspicions about the abuse of painkillers. Prescription drug addiction often occurs after an individual takes a painkiller due to long-term pain. However, others may get prescription painkillers with the intent of abusing the drugs in order to get high. Risk factors for developing an addiction to prescription painkillers include past or present addictions to other drugs or alcohol, family history of substance abuse, pre-existing psychiatric conditions, and easy access to prescription drugs.
It is also estimated that about 70 percent of prescription drug abusers are currently in the workforce, which means that it is very likely that your workplace could have a problem with prescription drug abuse. It is more important than ever to be aware of the possibility of prescription drug abuse in the workplace. Workers who abuse drugs pose a risk to themselves and to the workplace, which is why getting workplace drug testing is a smart option for employers.