Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in the Workplace

Prescription Drug Abuse Becoming Widespread in the Workforce

In a recent Wall Street Journal article titled Wanted: Drug Free Workers, Kris Maher reports on a marked rise in the instances of failed drug tests among workers in the oil and gas industry. Maher says that “…in parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia—a region undergoing an industrial transformation driven by shale gas—employers and others say widespread drug use, particularly the abuse of prescription drugs, is affecting hiring.”  The primary problem seems to be prescription drug abuse.

In an industry where heavy labor makes for a high job turnover rate, addictions often start after job related injuries lead to a legitimate need for pain management. Quest Diagnostics, a laboratory that analyzes employee drug tests “found amphetamines in 24.6% of positive tests of federally mandated workers in 2011, up from 17.4% in 2009. Of the tests Quest conducted in the general workforce, pain relievers known as oxycodones were found in 3.1% of positive tests in 2011, from 2.7% in 2009.” Of course the oil and gas industry is not the only sector to see rampant drug abuse. This struggle affects employers and employees in all industries. These findings are just more evidence that we cannot ignore the epidemic of prescription drug abuse in this country.

Nutrition plays an important role in recovery from drug addiction.  Find out how to make a healthy and filling breakfast shake.

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