As part of an ongoing battle against prescription opiate abuse in Wisconsin, Attorney General Brad Schimel is urging employers to consider updating their drug-free workforce policies to include prescription drug abuse.
Schimel was in Green Bay on Tuesday to roll out what he called the next step of the “Dose of Reality” prevention campaign, an ongoing effort by the Department of Justice to reduce deaths tied to heroin and prescription drugs.
It’s estimated US employers lose $26 billion each year as a result of opiate addictions in the workplace, while 80 percent of workers compensation claims in the state involve prescription opiates. “What if employers became a place where their staff members could find connections to help. What if employers became a place where we could start recognizing these signs of addiction earlier?,” Schimel asked.
With some estimates showing about 163,000 people in Wisconsin are currently abusing opiates, the state has ramped up efforts in recent years to address the crisis. Schimel said earlier intervention could help to reduce the amount of resources that are needed to help someone kick an addiction.