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Be Sure to Educate Employees about "What They Can Do" to Help Prevent Opioid Addiction

Posted by Daniel A. Feerst, MSW, LISW-CP on

Employees at work are a captured audience being paid on the clock. The beauty of this reality is that your can educate them about common problems and concerns, and offer solutions, tips, and expert advice via your EAP, Opioid addiction is preventable, employee health and wellness is one pathoccupational health, or other internal or external resource.

Since employees are your most valuable resource, the above is a fantastic way of nurturing and helping increase workplace productivity. The Opioid health emergency in the USA is one such problem to educate employees about, but be sure to give them helpful advice that they can use to prevention addiction themselves or in someone they love or care for.

Though not foolproof, there are a number of risk factors that come into play regarding addiction.

Clearly, anyone can become an addict to opioids. It, and that means anyone at all, but certain individuals are predisposed to addiction; this includes individuals who fall in the following categories:

Individuals with a history of mental illness or substance abuse

People living in rural areas, as these individuals lack non-medical pain management alternatives, which makes prescription use more likely

Low-income individuals, as illicit opioids may be cheaper and more frequently sought

Additionally, some studies show that lower-income individuals experience more pain-related health conditions. Therefore, this group of individuals may have a higher incidence of opioid misuse.

Take these action steps to avoid addiction yourself, or apply the information that follows to help another person, friend or family member who’s in trouble with opioids.

Be sure you understand the long-term effects of using opioids so you can avoid unwittingly getting addicted.

Ask if other less addictive pain medications are available or ask about nonmedical pain management alternatives. (Not all doctors will initiate such discussions with you.)

Always take prescription medication as it’s prescribed. If you notice a reduced effect, phone your medical doctor. Do not take “just a little bit more.”

If you have a family history of drug/alcohol addiction, you may want to consider going to a medical doctor who is certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine ( to manage pain medications if you require them.

These doctors will help treat your needs while closely monitoring your medication use.

Become educated on the signs, symptoms, and risks of opioid use in the workplace and in life—it will help you identify potential concerns.

Speak up when you see a coworker in need. Don’t be afraid to offer them help.

If a family member, friend, or coworker appears to be addicted to a pain medication, do not enable him or her with money or by helping him or her obtain prescriptions.

You can own an Opioid Education and Awareness Program that editable and customizable in PowerPoint, DVD, Video, or a Web course by going to this link.

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