There are obvious challenges to having employees who are addicted to drugs. The poor production, high level of absenteeism, the high cost of sick leave, and even the low morale that addiction in the workplace can cause are just some of the reasons why it can be difficult for employers to retain workers with substance use disorders.
As true as this may be, employers may also have a tough time filling positions with candidates who are qualified for the job. Many times those who are fully qualified might also happen to suffer from an addiction.
Opioid addiction and overdose deaths have cost the state of Ohio as much as $8.8 billion a year. Many local employers do not want to have to deal with the time, effort and cost associated with providing employee assistance programs for drug use and addiction, as well as for continued random drug testing.
However, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is taking steps to potentially rectify this situation. The entity is launching a new pilot program that will help employers in hiring, supervising and retaining employees who are currently in an addiction recovery program to beat their addiction to opioids.
As much as $5 million will be provided by the Opioid Workplace Safety Program over a two-year period to help employers in the counties of Montgomery, Ross and Scioto, all of which have seen an extremely high number of accidental overdose deaths relative to other counties in the state. In fact, Montgomery County had the highest overdose death rate in Ohio in 2016 and 2017, with Ross and Scioto counties coming in quite close.
The money will be used to cover the cost of workplace addiction, such as the costs associated with drug testing, reimbursement for pre-employment, training management personnel, and a platform for employers to share their ideas and success stories.
Those who complete a treatment program have a better chance of staying sober if they make positive changes in their lives following treatment, including getting a good job and keeping it.
When employers retain such employees, those recovering from opioid addiction can more successfully maintain a life of sobriety while employers can help increase productivity in the workplace. It’s a win-win situation.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is teaming up with each county’s respective Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health board to carry out the program, which is slated to be launched on October 15. Each local board will determine companies and employees who would be eligible for the pilot program.
The Bureau will give a certain amount to each county, though it is not yet established exactly how much each county will get. Further, employers that are part of the program will have to pay for any related expenses upfront, after which they will be reimbursed.
Dealing With Opioid Addiction in Recovery Centers
Addiction to opioids has proven to be an extremely dangerous situation. With thousands of overdose deaths from opioids in the recent past, the time to deal with an addiction to this dangerous drug type is right now.
If you are currently dealing with an addiction to opioids or any other type of drug, help is available. At The Recovery Village Columbus, we make it our mission to find those suffering from substance use disorder appropriate treatment programs or facilities to foster addiction recovery. Don’t suffer in silence.