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Kentucky’s Workforce Took A Deep Dive Due To The Opioid Crisis

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As businesses struggle to find and retain workers, the opioid crisis is making their challenges even greater.

The Kentucky Chamber, in a 2017 report, took a deep dive into Kentucky’s low workforce participation rate and found that the opioid epidemic, and incarceration due to drug charges, are leading factors in Kentucky’s lack of workers.

Five state chamber presidents sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other members of Congress, encouraging them to find a policy solution that focuses on treatment with a specific goal: getting people on the path to recovery and back into the workforce.

Following the business community’s recommendation, Sen. McConnell introduced the CAREER Act, which will ensure patients in recovery have the resources they need to return to healthy, productive lives and reenter the workforce.

The CAREER Act proposes a five-year pilot program in five states that have been hit hardest by the opioid epidemic to offer wrap-around support services for individuals transitioning out of treatment programs and back into the workforce. These services will include workforce training and transitional housing.

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., is also championing a critical piece of legislation, the Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act, to make sure people have access to all the available treatments they need to beat opioid addiction. Together, these forward-thinking policies will help address the opioid epidemic from treatment through recovery and reintroduction into the workforce.

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Workforce Drug Positivity Highest Rate In A Decade

 

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Driven by increases in cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, drug use by the American workforce remains at its highest rate in more than a decade, according to a new analysis released today by Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services.

Cocaine positivity increases overall, jumps sharply in some areas

The positivity rate for cocaine increased for the fifth consecutive year in the general U.S. workforce across every specimen type. In urine testing, the most common drug test specimen type, the positivity rate for cocaine increased seven percent in the general U.S. workforce (0.28% in 2016 versus 0.30% in 2017). Year-over-year increases were also observed in the general U.S. workforce in oral fluid testing (up 16%) and hair testing (19%).

Methamphetamine positivity skyrockets in Midwest and South regions

An analysis of trends in the general U.S. workforce based on the four U.S. Census regions identified large increases of methamphetamine positivity rates. Between 2013 and 2017, methamphetamine positivity increased: 167 percent in the East North Central division of the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin);160 percent in the East South Central division of the South (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee); 150 percent in the Middle Atlantic division of the Northeast (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania); and 140 percent in the South Atlantic division of the South (Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia). The percentage increase in these four divisions ranged between nine percent and 25 percent between 2016 and 2017.

Prescription opiates continue decline in workforce testing data

“The depth of our large-scale analysis supports the possibility that efforts by policymakers, employers, and the medical community to decrease the availability of opioid prescriptions and curtail the opioid crisis is working to reduce their use, at least among the working public.

Based on the analysis of more than 10 million workforce drug test results between January – December 2017.

Nationally, the positivity rate for the combined U.S. workforce held steady

Marijuana positivity is up in states with new legalization statutes

Overall, marijuana positivity continued its five-year upward trajectory in urine testing for both the general U.S. workforce and the federally-mandated, safety-sensitive workforce. Marijuana positivity increased four percent in the general U.S. workforce (2.5% in 2016 versus 2.6% in 2017) and nearly eight percent in the safety-sensitive workforce (0.78% versus 0.84%).

Increases in positivity rates for marijuana in the general U.S. workforce were most striking in states that have enacted recreational use statues since 2016. Those states include: Nevada (43%), Massachusetts (14%) and California (11%).

Nationally, the positivity rate for opiates in the general U.S. workforce in urine drug testing declined 17 percent between 2016 and 2017 (0.47% versus 0.39%). More notably, oxycodones (oxycodone and/or oxymorphone) positivity declined 12 percent between 2016 and 2017 (0.69% vs. 0.61%), hydrocodone positivity declined 17 percent (0.81% vs. 0.67%); and hydromorphone positivity declined 22% (0.59% vs. 0.46%). Opiates other than codeine were at their lowest positivity rate in more than a decade.

Marijuana positivity is up in states with new legalization statutes

Overall, marijuana positivity continued its five-year upward trajectory in urine testing for both the general U.S. workforce and the federally-mandated, safety-sensitive workforce. Marijuana positivity increased four percent in the general U.S. workforce (2.5% in 2016 versus 2.6% in 2017) and nearly eight percent in the safety-sensitive workforce (0.78% versus 0.84%).

Increases in positivity rates for marijuana in the general U.S. workforce were most striking in states that have enacted recreational use statues since 2016. Those states include: Nevada (43%), Massachusetts (14%) and California (11%).

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Workforce Shortage due To Opioid Addiction

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First there’s a shortage due to lack of technological skills now it’s opioid addiction.

A provision in a bipartisan Senate package, the Opioid Crisis Response Act, addressing the workforce shortage created by the addiction crisis was secured Tuesday.

The provision is based on legislation U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced earlier this month called the Collectively Achieving Recovery and Employment (CARE) Act. The bipartisan package passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Tuesday.

The Opioid Crisis Response Act is a wide-ranging, bipartisan package aimed at stemming the tide of the nationwide opioid crisis. The bill includes a provision based on Brown and Capito’s CARE Act that targets federal workforce training grants to address the workforce shortages and skill gaps caused by the opioid epidemic.

The Opioid Addiction Crisis

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SAN ANTONIO – Texas saw 1,186 opioid-related deaths in 2015 and experts say the problem is only getting worse. 

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the Addiction Policy Forum have announced a new four-year plan. Some doctors are skeptical but hopeful that PhRMA’s vision becomes a reality.

Some of the approaches in mind

 Take an opioid and alter its chemical structure so it won’t be addictive.

Another way is to look at entirely new drugs  and how they may alleviate pain.

Comment:

They should make note that many of opioid addicts take pills to get high and not for pain. IT’S LIKE THEY HAVE A CHOICE OR PREFERENCE ON HOW THEY WANT TO GET HIGH. They might use pain as a cop out so they won’t be judged harshly. If caught early enough  someone such as a therapist, counselor, social worker etc may help alleviate serious addiction.

 

 

Librarians Learning How to Use Overdose Antidote In Rhode Island

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Workers at a Rhode Island library are learning how to respond to opioid overdoses.

WJAR-TV reports a training session at the Providence Community Library in Providence on Friday taught librarians how to administer the overdose reversal drug naloxone.

“Punk Chemist” Experimenting With 3D Printing ?

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 Lee Cronin, a chemist from the University of Glasgow claims to have prototyped a 3D printer capable of assembling chemical compounds on the molecular level.

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