COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It’s not a secret that the state of Ohio is dealing with a serious opioid epidemic.
A new program has been created by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce to help businesses impacted by the epidemic. They consulted with Attorney General Mike DeWine as he says it’s a concern he hears often from employers.
DeWine wanted to stress how important this program is that will address the opioid epidemic in central Ohio. He said 15 people will die from a drug overdose every day in Ohio.
“A number of babies will be born who are addicted because the mom’s addicted,” DeWine said. “There’ll be more kids in our foster care system, because half of all the kids in foster care are there today because one of or both of their parents are drug addicts. The other big impact, of course, involves employers. A concern I hear is, ‘I can’t find people who can’t pass a drug test.'”
For this reason, the opioid toolkit for businesses was created. It has been in the works for more than a year.
“We want every employer in Ohio to have access to this,” said Julie Wagner Feasel, the Vice President of Communications at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
The online program is free and offers 5 learning courses that are about 13-16 minutes each. They give an overview of ways an employer can deal with an employee’s use of opioids or other substances; the best practices; how, when, and why to drug test an employee; and how to handle a situation if an employee confesses or is found to be using a harmful substance.
“We were hearing from our employers that they were having a hard time…finding employees to pass drug tests when they have jobs that are open, and then once they had those employees in their offices dealing with employees or with employees’ family members dealing with this opioid crisis,” Feasel said.
Click here to read more about the opioid toolkit.