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Epidemic of the Century? COVID-19 or Opioids??

May 12, 2020

Phil Essay, MD will empower employers to play a critical role in saving lives. US employers have embraced public health recommendations for minimizing the spread of COVID-19 among workers. Now, human resource managers must actuate strategies for addressing the impact of the opioid epidemic. 

The current US death count from the Corona Virus is 79,756. Staggering for sure, but, we cannot allow virophopia to cause us to forget the 72,000 people that died last year due to opioid overdose,… and the 67,000 the year before that,… and the 54,500 the year before that… Since 2001, more than 600,000 US lives have been lost to arguably the most devastating epidemic of the century, the opioid crisis.
The facts:

  1. Two-thirds of people who have an opioid use disorder are in the workplace, over 11 million people.
  2. 5.3% of occupational injury deaths were due to workplace overdose in 2017.
  3. Workers with a pain medication use disorder miss an average of 29 days per year (compared to 10 for most employees).
  4. Cost to employers continues to rise. In 2016, large US employers paid more than $3 billion for opioid-related health care for their employees.

 Phil Essay, MD will empower employers to play a critical role in saving lives. We stress safety in the workplace every day. Phil Essay, MD will provide employers with strong, well-thought-out policies and robust educational programs to succeed in protecting your most valuable asset, your people.