The opioid epidemic has been a growing issue for many years, and its effects on the multifamily industry are increasingly evident. As the rate of opioid addiction continues to rise, it is becoming increasingly important for multifamily businesses to recognize and take action to prevent and combat opioid abuse in their properties.
The Opioid Epidemic
The opioid epidemic is a national public health crisis that has been on the rise for the past decade. It refers to the overuse and abuse of opioids, which are prescription painkillers, heroin, and synthetic drugs like fentanyl. The addiction and overdose rates have been soaring, with devastating effects on individuals, families, and communities across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that industries with high injury and illness rates have higher rates of prescription opioid overdose deaths. Additionally, workers who are injured on the job and receive prescription opioids are at increased risk of becoming addicted.
According to a study by the National Safety Council, nearly one-third of employers have been directly impacted by opioid use, either through employee overdose, impaired performance, or absenteeism. The multifamily industry is not immune to these challenges. Property managers, maintenance technicians, and leasing agents are all susceptible to injury on the job, making them potential targets for opioid prescription and misuse.
The Impact of the Opioid Addiction in the Workplace
Within the multifamily industry, opiate addiction in the workplace impacts employees significantly. When employees are struggling with opioid addiction, it often leads to absenteeism and decreased productivity. This, in turn, can lead to increased turnover rates as the company tries to find replacements for employees who are unable to meet the demands of the job due to addiction.
In addition to decreased productivity, opioid addiction can compromise compliance and safety measures within the multifamily industry. This puts both employees and residents at risk and can have severe legal and financial repercussions for the company.
Furthermore, opioid addiction can have a devastating impact on employee performance. Employees struggling with addiction often have difficulty focusing, maintaining attention, and retaining information. This can affect their ability to communicate with residents, complete work tasks, and manage conflicts, leading to substandard work performance.
Opioid Addiction Signs
One of the challenges in combating opioid addiction in the workplace is recognizing the signs. Some common indicators of opioid addiction include:
- Periodic short absences from work
- Increased absenteeism
- Slurred speech
- Mood swings
- Napping at work
These signs are often subtle at first and can be mistaken for other issues. For example, someone experiencing pain may take painkillers, which can cause drowsiness or napping at work. However, if these symptoms persist, it may be time to intervene. It is important to be vigilant and look for additional signs of opioid addiction.
Handling and Preventing Opioid Use
To combat opioid addiction in the workplace, it’s essential to have policies and procedures in place to prevent and handle it. Here are some practical ways to manage opioid addiction in multifamily settings:
- Offer employee training programs to identify and manage opioid addiction.
- Encourage open communication between employees and supervisors about any concerns related to opioid addiction.
- Create and implement a policy for employees who require prescription medication for chronic conditions.
- Provide access to counseling services and employee assistance programs to support those struggling with addiction.
- Consider hiring an expert to conduct a workshop to help employees recognize the potential signs of opioid misuse.
- Monitor employee performance to identify any signs of opioid addiction.
- Conduct regular drug testing to deter and identify opioid use.
Having a structured approach to handle and prevent opioid addiction in the workplace can help avoid significant disruptions to employee performance and reduce risks associated with substance abuse. It is vital to take proactive steps and make support readily available to employees who require it. With effective policies and procedures, we can create a safer and more productive work environment.
Everyone deserves a workplace free of the effects of substance abuse, and our Drug-Free Workplace courses will help you understand your role in that workplace.