INDIANAPOLIS -- Eighty percent of Indiana employers say they’ve experienced prescription drug abuse issues at their companies, yet less than a third offer training around workplace drug use.
The National Safety Council says this is its first state-level look at prescription drug use in the workplace. It surveyed more than 200 Indiana human resources and safety professionals.
National Safety Council President Deborah Hersman says about one-in-five employers reported an injury or near miss due to prescription drug issues; nearly a quarter reported seeing employees borrow or sell prescription drugs. She says what’s also troubling is that while 76 percent of employers feel prescription drug abuse is a fireable offense, only about half have a written policy on prescription drug use.
“What that really means is there’s only two options left," Hersman said. "You either ignore the employee that is on these prescription medications in the workplace or you fire them.”
Hersman says the National Safety Council has several recommended steps employers should take. Those include putting in place strong prescription drug use policies, drug testing for prescription opioids, creating training for employees and supervisors, recognizing that prescription drug abuse is a disease and helping employees get treatment.