On October 26 of 2017, the opioid crisis in the United States was officially declared a national public health emergency by the Trump administration. President Trump has committed significant focus and federal resources to fighting this opioid crisis epidemic on all fronts.
A staggering 116 people die of opiate overdose each day in the U.S. Millions of people in our country currently have an opioid disorder, and it is the cause of over $500 billion in total economic costs in terms of rehabilitation, lost time at work, etc. The opioid crisis has also done untold damage to families and communities across the country. Relationships end, jobs are lost and lives are ruined.
Border Wall and Stricter Penalties For Drug Dealers
President Trump has pledged to fight the scourge of the opioid crisis and opiate addiction by seeking much harsher penalties for drug dealers than ever before – possibly even the death penalty. While those who commit murder often receive a life sentence, drug dealers who may kill hundreds or thousands of people by selling drugs often only go to jail for a few months. Stricter penalties for drug dealers have been a highly effective deterrent in other countries such as the Philippines.
Over 90 percent of the illegal opiates in this country are coming in through the southern border with Mexico. This makes plans for a border wall even more crucial, as it will help stop the flow of these dangerously addictive substances into our country.
Opioid Crisis Deaths Have Quadrupled in the Last 20 Years
The Trump administration has also committed to funding research in order to find less addictive alternatives to pain killers. All too often, an individual will enter the hospital for an issue and essentially come out as a drug addict. With better alternatives, this will no longer occur.
Opiates can refer to street drugs like heroin as well as prescription drugs like pain killers in a range of strengths. Opioid crisis deaths have quadrupled since 1999, with Americans using far more opiates than any other country in the world.
Not surprisingly, the opioid crisis has had profound effects on the workplace as well, costing employers billions of dollars due to missed work, medical insurance claims and in some cases, fraud and misconduct related to the opiate abuse as well as an increase of violence in the workplace.
Employment Screening and Drug Testing Crucial to a Safe, Productive Workplace
Drug testing is a key defense against hiring someone with an opioid addiction or other substance abuse problem. Most drug testing programs encompass a 5, 9, or 10 panel; however, these do not screen for synthetic versions of opiates. To detect synthetic versions, which can often be even more problematic, an expanded opiates panel is required.
The opioid crisis has put an emphasis on corporations and small business owners to be proactive about testing to ensure the health, safety and productivity of their workforce. Employment screening that includes background checks for criminal offenses related to drug use can help with identifying candidates with substance abuse problems. A check of their credit history can also uncover financial problems related to drug use.
Those who have fallen victim to the opioid crisis and have been rehabilitated and reformed can make excellent workers, but those with active issues will likely not be ideal choices. Partnering with a professional employment screening company can assist with effectively completing key background check and screening components.