A recent study found that the cost for private health insurance rose by 3200% from the years 2007-2014. The culprit behind this vast increase? The opioid addiction epidemic.
“The drug epidemic is driving up the costs for companies since they are the predominant payers of private health insurance”, Tracy King, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.
Republican member of the Missouri House of Representatives, Holly Rehder, who is also a business owner said, drug addiction has made running a business more difficult.
“It’s difficult finding people who pass drug screens and show up every day.”
While many businesses around the country struggle with addiction issues, the manufacturing industry, construction industry, and companies that require operating heavy machinery all seem to be hit hard by the drug epidemic.
Industries that require manual labor and the use of heavy machinery are more likely to bring about injuries that someone may not have acquired if working in an office setting.
Those injuries can require doctor’s visits, surgeries and pain medication.
Many times these medications lead to addiction, which we all know makes workers less productive and on-the-job liabilities.
In turn, this not only drives up the cost for health insurance due to treatment costs, but also the dollars spent in training and hiring new employees due to the high turn-over rates.
Rhode Island, a state that has a considerably large number of blue-collar workers, is all too familiar with this very issue. They ranked last in CNBC’s 2016 Top States for Business and have a high rate of addiction. Coincidence?
The National Safety Council (NSC) recently graded all 50 states on how they are tackling the drug epidemic. In order to “pass”, each state had to meet 6 different measures that promote more prevention and treatment. For instance, prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP)
Only five states, Vermont, New Mexico, Kentucky, Maine and Tennessee, met 5 out of the 6.
Vermont and New Mexico are known to have some of the highest heroin rates in the country, however, Vermont is among one of the only states to have enough treatment programs to handle it’s percentage of addiction.
Big business is keeping tabs on the drug epidemic, waiting to see how states will respond to the worst health crisis of our generation. Maybe though, they can help in the fight.
Jane Terry, Government Affairs Director at the NSC, makes a solid point.
She told CNBC, “Employers hold the cards. They can say, ‘We will only move the plant here if you take this public health epidemic seriously.’ Bringing these issues up can help move the needle. There are a lot of opportunities for states to do more.”
In the past several months, we have heard the word bi-partisan thrown around an awful lot, yet politicians still cannot agree.
If you or someone you love has been affected by the drug epidemic, do not suffer any longer.
Clearbrook has been treating individuals who suffer from addiction and alcoholism for over 40 years. With the proper detox protocols, therapy methods and aftercare planning we offer, you can begin your road to recovery.
Contact our Admissions Specialists today. They are available 24 hours a day.
ARE YOU OR SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT STRUGGLING WITH DRUGS OR ALCOHOL?
CALL CLEARBROOK TREATMENT CENTERS NOW AT 1-800-582-6241.
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