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Businesses aren’t immune from the drug epidemic that’s hitting central Ohio hard.

According to a recent article in Columbus CEO titled, "Opiod Crisis at Work," while less than 10% of US population is categorized as substance abusers, more than 70% of addicts are employed. Alcohol remains the biggest source of addiction. Regarding heroin, though, it is "most often used by people who are so far down the path of addiction that they've lost or left their jobs."

So how are employers impacted by the opiod epidemic? It's the loved ones of the addicts--the parents, spouses, siblings--whose jobs and performance are negatively impacted. They may be so distracted by their loved ones' predicament that they can barely concentrate on their work. The stress of what's happening in their family (and to their family), the loss of control, the added pressure of keeping up or filling in, the agony of if/when the phone call comes--all of these diminish the productivity of these employees.

It's straight out of the [mental] health & wellness playbook.

Among the many strategies mentioned in the article to fighting against drugs in the workplace, businesses must always allow their employees to accommodate both their work and home responsibilities--even if those home responsibilities involve dealing with an addict. If the employee needs help, help them get help. If they need time, give them time.

Employees who are forced to choose between their work or their family will choose their family every time.

The full article, Businesses aren’t immune from the drug epidemic that’s hitting central Ohio hard, written by Bob Vitale, is in the August 2017 edition of Columbus CEO.

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