Employers weigh in on worker misuse of opioids

1 year 5 months 1 week 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
JEFFERSON CITY - City leaders will discuss Jefferson City’s 2019 FY budget at Monday’s city council meeting. The budget,... More >>
14 minutes ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 3:34:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
SEDALIA- Two events were canceled on the last day of the Missouri State Fair due to rain. The ASCS... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 10:04:00 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Former CIA director John Brennan said Sunday that he was willing to pursue legal action against President Donald... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 9:23:19 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Federal investigators examining whether President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen committed bank and tax fraud are looking... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 8:01:59 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
Indiana ( WRTV ) -- Hundreds of students walked out of the Andy Gross show Saturday night at Purdue University... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 7:30:19 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — Students in one Southeast Missouri State University dorm who don't want to leave their dogs or... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 3:09:00 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
NORTH KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City-area school district that garnered national attention when a transgender student was crowned... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 2:47:00 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri officials hope to attract the nearly 700 well-paying USDA jobs that are... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 12:17:10 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for a St. Louis man charged with killing... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 11:50:00 AM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Parts of Missouri are so dry that corn crops are suffering and hay for cattle is... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 11:44:16 AM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — Officials say a worker injured near Sedalia in west-central Missouri has died. The Sedalia Democrat reports... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 9:01:36 AM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department is investigating a sex offense report on Saturday. According to a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 11:00:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - The Miller County Sheriff's Office reported that suspected shooter Devin Mckie is in custody after being arrested... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 10:36:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - More improvements to Columbia Regional Airport are on the horizon as two proposals sit on the agenda for... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 5:06:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE – About 100 people rode their bikes early Saturday to help raise funds for the 43rd annual Missouri River... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 2:23:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
PLATTE CITY, Mo. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies in northwestern Missouri's Platte County say they've seized more than 200 pounds of... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:48:56 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
BLACK JACK (AP) — A baby bobcat found in eastern Missouri and being nursed back to health might be mistaken... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:42:55 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Funding cuts to in-home care for the disabled could force some Missouri residents into nursing homes,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:34:39 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
4am 70°
5am 70°
6am 69°
7am 70°