Report Shows High Rates Of Drug Abuse In Indiana Workplaces

Dec 7, 2015

Credit mattza / https://www.flickr.com/photos/27762949@N00/33602814

One in five Hoosier employers reports injuries or near misses in the workplace due to prescription drug issues and nearly a quarter say they’ve seen employees borrow or sell prescription drugs. That’s according to a National Safety Council survey of more than 200 Indiana HR and safety professionals.

The National Safety Council says 80-percent of Indiana employers say they’ve experienced prescription drug abuse issues at their companies.  Yet less than 30-percent offer training around workplace drug use. 

The overwhelming majority believe prescription drug abuse is a fireable offense but only about half actually have a written policy regarding prescription drugs.  Still, Cummins Chief Medical Director Dexter Shurney says while it may seem less costly for companies like his to simply fire prescription drug abusers, rather than help them recover, that’s not true in the long run:

“We invest a lot into our employees and so we really want to do what’s right by them,” Shurney says. “And so we’re not really looking to punish people.”

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller adds that it could be legally tricky to fire an employee for prescription drug abuse without the company knowing more.