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Companies Want To Talk About Effects Of Opioids In The Workplace

By Justin Hicks, IPB News | Published on in Business, Health, Statewide News
Jim McClelland, executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement, delivers the keynote address at an event discussing opioids in the workplace. (Justin Hicks/IPB News)
Jim McClelland, executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement, delivers the keynote address at an event discussing opioids in the workplace. (Justin Hicks/IPB News)

An employee benefits firm brought together companies and lawmakers Wednesday in Indianapolis to address the effects of opioid addiction on workplaces across the state.

Apex Benefits organized the discussion because, according to vice president of external affairs, Todd Rokita, rising rates of opioid abuse mean more insurance risks for companies they consult with.

“And it’s not that the opiods themselves that cost money, it’s the effects afterwards that are driving these high-dollar claims,” Rokita says.

READ MORE: Opioid Strategy Meeting Gives Employers Tools To Address Employee Substance Abuse

Indiana drug czar Jim McClelland was the keynote speaker. He says supporting employees struggling with opioid addiction is essential to their recovery.

“Having a job is enormously important in being able to maintain recovery,” McClelland says.

According to a poll conducted by the National Safety Council, 75 percent of American workplaces have been affected by opioids but only 17 percent feel “extremely prepared” to deal with the issue.

The event marked the start of a three-part series to help companies strategize for some of the most common high-risk claims.