Since the pandemic, it’s become more important than ever to cut the BS and get real about substance abuse and mental health. People are dying, and there’s no time to waste on shame, fear, and lies. Drugs — and opioids in particular — are killing millions of people. While the COVID-19 vaccine means the end of the pandemic is in sight, that doesn’t mean the opioid epidemic is getting any better. In 2020, a study done by the CDC found that 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred within the past year.
Jobs with physical labor have a high risk of workplace injury, and many of these hurt employees receive pain medications — only to become addicted. Labor unions are now helping bring awareness of addiction to workers in the fight against the opioid crisis.
Pain Pill Addiction & Work Conditions
Physical labor — like construction and rural work — takes a toll on the body, causing fatigue, chronic pain, and serious injuries. That can lead to opioid prescriptions, which can lead to addiction. One 2015 study found that 21-29% of people who were prescribed opioids after a work-related injury ended up misusing them.
Add in the stress of the jobs themselves, and these occupations can be a breeding ground for substance abuse. Worst of all, workers who are at a higher risk of developing addiction may not even know it until it’s too late. Even then, they might not know where to go to find help.
How Labor Unions are Bringing Awareness to Addiction
Unions were created to help employees guarantee their rights and receive the help they need in any situation, including — more recently — addiction. Today, labor unions are helping battle the opioid epidemic by educating and advocating for workers. Do you belong to a union? There are many different types of unions, depending on the nature of your work.
Workers Unions Refer to Residential Addiction Treatment Facilities
Labor unions have trusted referral relationships with several opioid addiction treatment programs. If you want to get clean and sober for good, you need to find a residential addiction treatment program that works. At Transformations Care, our no-BS program treats the addiction and the underlying mental health issues that may be linked to it.
Unions Can Help Make Rehab More Affordable
Many unions offer health insurance to their members. Ask your union rep if you are in network with any residential addiction treatment facilities. These plans can make addiction treatment more affordable and accessible to workers that need it.
Awareness of Company Leaders
Opioid substance abuse also causes financial issues for companies as well. An employee that works while high or drunk puts the entire workplace at risk. It’s especially dangerous when operating machinery is involved. Having a worker struggling with substance abuse also increases the chance of them skipping out on work, which can cripple workplace productivity and profits. With labor unions bringing awareness to the opioid crisis, both workers and company leaders can work together to help people struggling find addiction treatment.
Finding Recovery From an Opioid Addiction
If you or an employee you know had a work injury and now are abusing opioids, give us a call. Opioids are tough to kick, but we’ll help you find a path to recovery that truly works for you. Everyone deserves a chance at a new life, but your substance abuse will only get worse until you make the choice to get help. Give us a call at 424.339.0965 to learn more about unions, addiction, and how to get you or your employees the substance abuse treatment they need and deserve.
Getting Clean & Sober at Home
Today, more than 75% of hospitals and healthcare providers offer access to telehealth treatment, with 29 states having gone so far as to enact telehealth parity laws, which force insurance companies to reimburse patients for telehealth at the same rates as they would for in-person treatment.
If you’ve been thinking about getting clean and sober, or if you’ve been wanting to work on and strengthen the recovery you already have, it’s never been easier to do it through telehealth.
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