Employers weigh in on worker misuse of opioids

8 months 1 week 6 days ago Thursday, March 09 2017 Mar 9, 2017 Thursday, March 09, 2017 3:45:00 PM CST March 09, 2017 in News
By: Madeline Odle, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Amid a rise in prescription drug abuse, employers are often hit hard.

A survey released Thursday by the National Safety Council looked at U.S. employers' experiences with and perception of prescription drugs, as well as the policies they have in place to deal with them. 

Results revealed more than 70 percent of U.S. employers feel the direct impact of prescription drug misuse in their workplaces. 

It also found 71 percent of employers agree that prescription drug misuse is a disease that requires treatment. However, 65 percent feel it is a justifiable reason to fire an employee.

Nikki Ogle, an employee at D-Tap, a Columbia drug screening site, said most of the screening it gets is for illegal drugs, but that has been changing.

"There has been a rise in prescription drug tests just because there is that rise in people abusing them," Ogle said. 

Employers in Columbia have different ways of handling the issue.

Some large employers in Columbia don't even have drug screening policies. The University of Missouri main campus does not screen for drugs unless it is specially required by state or federal law, like in the case of commercial licenses. 

On the contrary, MU Hospital does screen for those drugs. It sent KOMU 8 News this statement:

“University of Missouri Health Care has conducted a comprehensive drug screening as part of our employee application process for more than 10 years. The screening tests for illegal drug use as well as opioid use, and always has. If a potential applicant tests positive for an opioid, then our third-party testing company conducts a further investigation to ensure that the opioid has both been prescribed to that specific individual by a physician, and that it is medically necessary.”

The vice president of Human Resources for Missouri Book Services (MBS), Jerome Rader, said the company uses a five-tiered system of drug screening for new employees.

"We are looking at the illegal drugs that we use, and opiates are a part of that," Rader said. 

If someone's test comes back positive for an opiate, Rader said, they do have the chance to explain themselves. 

"We ask, inquire, if they have prescriptions for that to evaluate that to see if that would be a valid response," Rader said. "If they do have the prescriptions we're fine. If not, then that becomes the issue for us."

National Safety Council president and CEO Deborah Hersman said it's not just abuse of prescription drugs that's the problem.

“Even when they are taken as prescribed, prescription drugs and opioids can impair workers and create hazards on the job," Hersman said.

At MBS, there is a policy to address this. 

"We ask employees that if they are taking a prescription that may affect the ability to do their job that they notify us at work so we can evaluate if they're able to do those jobs safely," Rader said. "So that is a little dependent of that individual notifying us of that usage, but that is a part of the policy." 

Rader said the company has not had much trouble with people abusing prescription drugs, or failing to report the use of prescription drugs.

"We do the initial screening at the time of employment," he said. "We do screening after work-related injuries, and we do screenings on a for-cause basis but that's really rare, honestly." 

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A three-car crash temporarily shut down one of the northbound lanes of Range Line St. around 6:00 Tuesday... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 7:00:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The American Farm Bureau Federation conducted a survey on 16 food items from 25 states across the country... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 6:19:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Auditor June Pitchford presented the commission with her proposed 2018 budget Tuesday afternoon. The commissioners... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 6:06:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A one-of-a-kind facility is starting to take shape in Jefferson City. At the junction of US Highway... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 5:55:10 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
SEDALIA - Steel giant Nucor announced Tuesday it would build a new facility in Sedalia, bringing 250 new jobs and... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 4:04:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
FULTON - Callaway County Humane Society Investigator Sandy Corbet said she's had an increase in phone calls related to missing... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 3:37:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A man was hospitalized with serious injuries after a crash at MO 179 and Missouri Boulevard. ... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 2:45:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Attorney General Josh Hawley announced a settlement fund for ten Missouri fraud victims. The settlement carries... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 2:29:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri basketball star Michael Porter Jr. will likely miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery in... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 1:28:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested two men in connection with a shots fired incident on Clark Lane Tuesday. Detectives arrested... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 12:35:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A vote to remove Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven failed Tuesday. The... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 12:07:00 PM CST November 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Supreme Court set an execution date for convicted murderer Russell Bucklew. Bucklew is scheduled... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 11:19:00 AM CST November 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Pope Francis named Father Shawn McKnight the new bishop of the Diocese of Jefferson City Tuesday. ... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 10:35:00 AM CST November 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP)— Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed a new member to the Missouri State Board of Education... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 10:04:36 AM CST November 21, 2017 in News
GULFPORT, MS - Police arrested two people wanted in connection with the Missouri murder of 72-year-old William Domann. Nathan... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 9:48:00 AM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A man arrested after an alleged SUV theft on November 17 faces numerous charges, including stealing, tampering with... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 9:45:06 AM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police arrested three men Tuesday in connection with the robbery at McDonald's on Smiley Lane. Detectives... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 9:28:00 AM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri wants you to help feed families in need this holiday... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 9:26:00 AM CST November 21, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 26°
2am 27°
3am 26°
4am 26°
5am 26°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:07a
Inside Edition
1:37a
Paid Program
2:07a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
1:00a
Top 30
1:30a
Page Six TV
2:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
iHeartRadio Music Festival, Night 1
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld