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The opioid crisis across the nation is making it more difficult than ever for employers to hire employees who can pass a drug test and contribute to a safe working environment.  More employees/potential employees are failing drug tests than in the past 12 years.  Last year had a whopping 4.2% of the American workforce testing positive for drugs, including methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin, resulting in the highest national failure rate since 2004.

We know that marijuana litigation following legalization will cost small-business owners billions of dollars across the country, but how does the opioid epidemic affect small-business owners?  A recent study shows that opioid abuse costs employers around $10 billion per year.  Where is this astronomical number coming from?  Employees missing work, coming to work sick, or even worse, under the influence.

If more employees who were addicted to opioids sought the treatment often provided to them through workplace insurance, the country’s economy would be effected – more potential employees would be employable in a safe workplace environment, and employers would save thousands in training costs following a worker who failed a drug test.

States like Ohio are providing government grants to help employers create drug-free workplaces, helping employees in need of treatment, and help to create second chance approaches.  The aim?  To boost the economy and combat the opioid epidemic.

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    Even as many states decriminalize recreational marijuana use, or allow access by prescription for medical use, “relaxing drug policies isn’t an option for manufacturers in terms of insurance and liability,” said Edmond C. O’Neal of Northeast Indiana Works, a nonprofit group that provides education and skills training.

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