The prevention of prescription drug misuse among working adults is a wellness issue.
Attention All Workers!
Employee-Focused Free “Lunch & Learn” Webinar (September 7)
Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Progress. We continue to develop evidence-based approaches to workplace substance misuse prevention. Last year we posted an initial blog about integrating workplace wellness and prevention of adult prescription misuse. Recently, we published a new research article showing these efforts are promising. We have been gathering employee reactions to our new module on health consciousness (see below). The September 7th webinar will present this module directly and we ask that you even share it with employees. Learn more here.
National Attention. A great deal has happened in the past 12 months. In February, the White House announced $1.1 Billion in new funding to address the prescription Opioid abuse and Heroin use epidemic. National attention has grown since, with prescription abuse a topic of focus in last month’s Presidential National Conventions.
More Prevention Needed. Most policy and media focus has been on treatment and not prevention, especially not in the workplace. The National Safety Council, with a clear mission in workplace safety, has a helpful 2016 report on state-level actions. However, like most adult prevention educational efforts the report pertains to educating physicians, pharmacists, and patients already taking drugs.
Healthy Alternatives. There are many voices suggesting health alternatives: in blog posts, preachy documentary, and articles on natural approaches to dealing with anxiety and pain. There was even a cover article in April’s Consumer Reports. We cull through these resources to find scientific ways to educate employees. We hope to empower working consumers of products and services that can benefit their personal well-being and productivity.
We recently delivered a new employee version of our Health Consciousness module to 30 workers in a small company, both through face-to-face “Lunch and Learn” and webinar. You can also experience the module by signing up for the September 7th webinar here.
We found that it was possible to deliver the material directly via webinar with success. Below are some findings from our approach.
- 100% of participants found the training enjoyable and also found the concept of health consciousness useful
- 90% reported improvement in their knowledge of healthy alternatives to prescription drug use (40% reported “much” or “great” improvement)
- There were also pre-to-post training improvements in these areas_x000D_
- Ability to find healthy alternatives to dealing with pain or stress, improved from 87% to 97% saying “true about me” or “very true about me” (p < .05)
- Knowing what parents can do to prevent their teenager’s misuse, improved from 30% to 85% (p < .001)
- Ability to weigh the costs and benefits of using prescription drugs, improved from 83% to 100% (p < .01)
In addition, we have received comment that the program was a good reminder for those workers who currently depend on prescriptions and want to explore healthy options in a safe way.
Again, please join us on September 7th.