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Use of prescription pain medications are associated with approximately 261 lost workdays per 1,000 workers per month, according to a new study released by the Integrated Benefits Institute (“IBI”), a nonprofit health and productivity research organization. When compared with non-users of prescription pain relievers, non-problematic users took more than twice the number of sick days, and problematic users took more than three times the number of sick days.

“A large percentage of the working age population is dealing with pain – both physically and emotionally – and many are self-medicating through alcohol, prescription drugs, and other substances,” said Thomas Parry, Ph.D., president of IBI. “It’s important that employers not view addiction as a moral issue or take a one-size-fits-all approach to deal with substance abuse for their employees. Employers should ensure their programs include effective pain management approaches that minimize the risk of opioid abuse to improve productivity and help curb the epidemic.”

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Victoria Spears

Victoria Prussen Spears is senior vice president of Meyerowitz Communications Inc., a law firm marketing communications consulting company. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Brooklyn Law School, Ms. Spears was an attorney at a leading New York City law firm before joining Meyerowitz Communications. She may be contacted at [email protected].

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