NSC Encourages New Policies Following New Data on Overdose Death
Employers should support workers in mental health and substance use recovery, NSC says.
- By Alex Saurman
- May 16, 2022
The National Safety Council (NSC) is encouraging employers to provide workers with mental health and substance use recovery support in light of new data from the CDC.
In 2021, drug overdose deaths reached a new high. According to the CDC, as of December 2021, over 103,000 people died of a drug overdose. The CDC said when the investigation is complete, it expects the total number of people to be around 107,600.
In a press release, NSC is calling on people to reduce the tragic and preventable loss of lives to addition. According to research and noted by the NSC, “70% people struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD) are employed.” Knowing this, the NSC is encouraging employers to create policies that will help workers struggling with SUD.
These policies should include support for mental health and substance use recovery. Employers should work to become a “recovery-friendly workplace” and end addiction stigma. Employers can play a pivotal role in decreasing the overdose crisis in our country.
NSC offers resources on its website to support employers who want to help their workers. They include Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit, Impairment Recognition and Response Training for Supervisors and a Substance Use Cost Calculator for Employers.
“Substance use disorders affect everyone, everywhere from our homes to our workplaces and all the places in between,” said Jenny Burke, NSC vice president of impairment practice in the press release. “Employers have a responsibility to keep their workers safe and healthy by using the tools available to help reverse this deadly trend.”
Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.