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Topics: alcohol, drugs, workers, workplaces

Info to help you maintain a drug-free work environment.

Medication misuse

SAMHSA
Wed, 2013-05-01

Highlights: A new report shows that the number of emergency department visits involving adverse reactions to the sleep medication zolpidem rose nearly 220 percent from 6,111 visits in 2005 to 19,487 visits in 2010. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report also finds that in 2010 patients aged 45 or older represented about three-quarters (74 percent) of all emergency department visits involving adverse reactions to zolpidem.

USA Today
Thu, 2013-04-25

Highlights: Powerful prescription painkillers have become pricier and harder to use. So addicts across the USA are turning to this more volatile drug. The new twist: Heroin is no longer just an inner-city plague.

DFBS Note: Be on the lookout - workplaces follow communities in drug use.

The Partnership at DrugFree.org
Mon, 2013-04-22

Highlights: New, nationally projectable survey results confirmed that one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription (Rx) drug at least once in their lifetime – a 33 percent increase over the past five years. The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) also found troubling data on teen misuse or abuse of prescription stimulants. Contributing to this sustained trend in teen medicine abuse are the lax attitudes and beliefs of parents and caregivers.

DFBS note: Point one: teens are future workers. Point two: Parents (i.e., workers) don't have a clue. Could be some education would help.

Phoenix Business Journal
Fri, 2013-03-22

Highlights: Addiction to prescription pain pills is impacting productivity in the workplace, costing employers as much as $13,000 for each drug user per year and health insurers up to $72.5 billion each year nationwide.

DFBS Note: Compelling story of worker's addiction that began with prescription for pain medication.

The Partnership at DrugFree.org
Mon, 2013-03-11

Highlights: Prescription painkiller abuse, which has centered on Eastern and Southern states, is now taking hold in Western states. Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Idaho have the country’s highest prescription drug abuse rates, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Risk and Insurance
Fri, 2013-03-01

Highlights: The workers' compensation industry and the pharmacy benefit managers who help employers manage prescription medication are getting ready for a new class of painkillers. "There has never been a more damaging impact on the cost of workers' compensation claims from a single issue than the abuse of opioid prescriptions for the management of chronic pain," according to a report by Mo.-based insurance broker Lockton Cos.

SAMHSA
Fri, 2013-02-22

Highlights: Emergency department (ED) visits involving use of illicit drugs increased from 2009 to 2011; the rate of visits involving illicit stimulants increased 68 percent, and the rate of visits involving marijuana rose 19 percent. But there were no significant increases in the rates of visits involving narcotic pain relievers from 2009 to 2011.

The Partnership at DrugFree.org
Wed, 2013-02-20

Highlights: In total, 38,329 people died of drug overdoses ion 2010. Of the 57 percent whose deaths involved prescription drugs, three-quarters were due to painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet.

Las Angeles Times
Tue, 2013-02-19

Highlights: According to a research letter published Tuesday from the National Center for Health Statistics, 38,329 people died of drug overdoses in the United States in 2010, an uptick from the previous year and the latest sign of a deadly trend involving prescription painkillers.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Thu, 2013-01-10

Highlights: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is notifying the public of new information about zolpidem, a widely prescribed insomnia drug. FDA recommends that the bedtime dose be lowered because new data show that blood levels in some patients may be high enough the morning after use to impair activities that require alertness, including driving. Today’s announcement focuses on zolpidem products approved for bedtime use, which are marketed as generics and under the brand names Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, and Zolpimist.

DFBS note: Are workers required to notify you of medications that could impair performance under your substance abuse policy?

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