Close to 100 attendees packed the Meridian Hills Country Club ballroom early yesterday for an interactive panel and audience discussion on “Tackling Opioids in the Workplace.”
According to a National Safety Council study, 75 percent of employers say their workplace has been impacted by the opioid crisis, but only 17 percent report that they feel prepared to deal with the issue. Apex Benefits developed this educational event to provide employers with the right tools and resources to help mitigate the impact of the opioid health crisis in their workplaces.
This event, moderated by Apex General Counsel and Vice President of External Affairs Todd Rokita, was the first installment in a three-part “Employers’ Survival Guide” series being hosted by Apex this year to help employers manage high-risk claims.
Indiana Drug Czar, Jim McClelland, kicked off Wednesday’s event with a keynote address. McClelland referenced an IU Kelley School of Business study in which the Indiana opioid crisis cost was estimated at $4.3 billion in 2017. He followed up this estimate with a bit of good news: over the past two years, that number has gone down. McClelland noted, “It appears the state is headed in the right direction,” and added, “yet there is still much work to be done.”
McClelland told employers in attendance that Indiana’s 19 opioid treatment centers served 15,000 individuals in 2018 and 70 percent of them were actively employed. “Having a job is actually very important to successful recovery,” he said, as patients need the encouragement of a decent support system. He mentioned more treatment centers will open in 2019.
McClelland’s keynote was followed by insights from five expert panelists who expressed views from their unique treatment, pharmaceutical, legal and employer perspectives. Two employer panelists shared real-life experiences handling opioid-related situations in their workplaces.