OnSite Health in the News

OPIOID EPIDEMIC: Indiana program works to help employers give workers the tools to succeed

by Caroline Torie, WSBT 22 Reporter - Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 

View the video and original article by clicking here


Employers are feeling the effects of the opioid crisis, but an Indiana initiative aims to help them navigate it.

According to data, employed Hoosiers make up nearly 70 percent of substance abuse cases in the state.

That’s a big reason why Indiana Workforce Recovery is reaching out to give workers the tools they need to succeed.

A number of company leaders gathered at the Morris Park Country Club Wednesday in South Bend. They're trying to better understand prevention efforts, drug addiction and learn how to help their employees.

Indiana Workforce Recovery Director Mike Thibideau says it’s apparent that businesses need more help when it comes to combating opioid addiction.

“Our data shows that in Indiana if you fail a drug screen for the first time, you’re as likely to be terminated as you are to be referred to care,” said Thibideau.

He says a new approach is needed to make sure employers are able to keep valuable employees and grow their businesses.

“Today we were talking a lot about how to direct individuals to treatment, best practices for having assistance available, how to retain and support employees have gone through treatment and are entering into recovery,” said Thibideau.

The program also offers legal guidance on drug-free workplace policies and how to detect use among employees. CEO of OnSite Health, Connie Bryan, says today’s event was well worth the time.

“Just making sure that we have a better understanding that the efforts that we are making in that regard are going to make a stronger employee,” said Bryan. “Somebody that’s going to show up in the workforce on time. They are going to be productive.”

She says an important takeaway is that employers should know what their health insurance covers in terms of treatment options for employees.

“What types of things are you offering as an employer as far as accommodating for time off if somebody needs to go and get counseling, if somebody wants to go to a rehab facility?” said Bryan.

She says employers have an obligation to help their workers become healthy in every way.

“In mental health, physical health and making sure that we are giving them what they need to help them with their addiction,” said Bryan.

Indiana Workforce Recovery is hosting a number of events like the one today in the coming months.