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Topics: alcohol, drugs, workers, workplaces

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

Trends / costs

The Kansas City Star
Tue, 2013-03-05

Highlights: With street prices of some opiates, such as Oxycontin, hitting $80 for a single pill, a growing number of illicit users in Missouri are looking to economize — with heroin. A report says the white powder long associated with big Eastern cities is fast-growing in Missouri and other Midwestern states, even shooting into small towns and rural areas.

DFBS note: This story just seems to repeat from region to region.

University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
Fri, 2013-03-01

Highlights: Excessive alcohol consumption in Wisconsin is a public health problem that affects every man, woman and child living in the state. The estimated cost of excessive alcohol consumption in Wisconsin was $6.8 billion in 2012. The cost is borne by everyone in the state, not just the drinkers themselves. Revenue generated by current alcohol taxes covers less than 1% of the total economic cost.

DFBS note: Of particular interest to employers in Wisconsin. But also an excellent illustration of the costs of alcohol misuse, and who bears them.

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.

The Gazette
Thu, 2013-02-28

Highlights: Just two years after the Iowa Legislature based a bill making synthetic marijuana illegal, officials in the governor’s office of drug control policy are looking for a quicker way to keep new, chemically legal synthetics off the shelves. Even with a dramatic drop-off in the number of incidents related to synthetic drugs following legislation passed in 2011, the public health threat is still pervasive and cases have increased as manufacturers find ways around the law.

Fri, 2013-02-22

Highlights: On any given day in the U.S., 18 percent of men and 11 percent of women drink more alcohol than federal dietary guidelines recommend, according to a new study that also finds 8 percent of men and 3 percent of women are full-fledged "heavy" drinkers. Binge drinking even one time can increase the risk of injury from falls, motor vehicle accidents, and other accidents.

DFBS note: More evidence that alcohol is our number one drug problem.

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
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.

CNN Money
Tue, 2013-02-12

Highlights: There have been nearly 84,000 meth lab seizures since 2004, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. But only a fraction of meth labs, as few as 5%, get discovered. Many Americans purchase homes or rent apartments contaminated with the drug's poisonous residue.

DFBS note: Something to pay attention to when relocating employees.

Springfield News-Sun
Sun, 2013-01-27

DFBS note: Substance abuse problems among Ohio workers can result in workplace injuries, higher medical costs for their employers, more absenteeism and reduced productivity, according to survey data and experts. Companies that implement drug testing and promote drug-free workplace policies are less likely to have drug users apply for their job openings, experts said. In 2012, 6,300 employers in Ohio participated in the state’s Drug-Free Safety Program.

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