The baby boomer generation has begun to retire, dropping out of the workforce. Companies are now struggling to fill those positions. In areas where drug abuse is common, the drugs are doing more harm to lives than just destroying families. A new study from Princeton University has shown it’s having an affect on the economy.
The study found that a 20 percent drop in men’s labor-force participation could be linked to an increase in opioid prescriptions between 1999 and 2015. The study found that roughly half of prime-age men—between the ages of 25 and 54—who are not in the labor force take pain medication on a daily basis. On top of that, roughly two-thirds of these men take prescription pain medication on a daily basis.
The research also found that the labor participation rate fell in areas where more opioids where prescribed. The labor participation rate is basically when folks are either employed or actively looking for work. The rate has actually been declining in the US for the last few decades. It’s currently at 63 percent, but back in the fifties the participation rate was in the 90s.
Long Term Affects on the Economy
With some states legalizing drugs such as marijuana, there have been more studies conducted on the affect on the community & economy. Evidence shows that jobs are going unfilled because people hooked on drugs can’t pass drug tests. Additionally, prescription drugs are being abused by employees that have jobs, raising medical costs. Workers who abuse painkillers cost their companies double the medical costs of non-abusers. Across the country, it’s estimated employers lose $10 billion per year due to lost productivity and absenteeism because of drug abuse.
According to the CDC, 91 Americans die from opioid overdoses every day. Our country has reached a point where drug overdoes now kill more people than AIDS/HIV did at it’s peak in the 1980’s. It’s obvious the opioid epidemic is to blame.
How are we Working to Fix the Problem?
President Trump recently declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. More work needs to be done to make it a formal declaration, and when that happens it will mean federal funds can be used to fight the problem. Hopefully, we can fix the problem before it’s too late.
Ütest is passionate about drug testing, and we understand the importance of drug testing. Whether you’re trying to get a new job or achieve sobriety, we’re here to help. Our new Ultimate Opiate Test can detect the most commonly abused opioids on the market. It’s easy to use and you will know your results in minutes.