As Americans, we have all heard stories about the opioid epidemic. We have heard stories from both our local news and national news outlets. Zero Hedge’s “Tyler Durden” recently took a look at the effects of opioid addiction on the American manufacturing industry.
“Regina Mitchell, co-owner of Warren Fabricating & Machining in Hubbard, Ohio, told The New York Times that four out of 10 applicants otherwise qualified to be welders, machinists and crane operators will fail a routine drug test”
Manufacturers around the country are struggling to find qualified and sober workers. With the inherent dangers of working in a manufacturing shop, there is no room for employees who are impaired. One small mistake can ruin someone’s life or end it completely.
Durden, speaking about President Trump’s promise to bring manufacturing jobs back, stated that the biggest problem may not be a scarcity of jobs, but rather finding “workers who are not under the influence. As Mitchell said she has jobs… she just doesn’t have sober applicants.”
There may be a lot of truth to this. The New Yorker stated, “according to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, 97.5 million Americans used, or misused, prescription pain pills in 2015.”
To put this in perspective, in 2016 America’s population was just over 323 million. This 97.5 million amounts to over 30% of the U.S. population having used prescription pain pills. When almost one-third of Americans report using a drug with a high potential for abuse, it is no surprise that it became a national problem.
Durden closes by saying that maybe we “should contemplate how to eliminate the pervasive addiction problem which is rapidly becoming a structural hurdle for America’s millions of unemployed.”
In addition to opioid abuse, factors such as technology, an aging population and globalization, have also contributed to the declining participation of working age adults in the labor market.
But the ballooning use of opioids — whether as prescription drugs or heroin — is preventing many workers from coming back into the job market, economists argue.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued new warnings about the dangers of combining medication for opioid addiction with anti-anxiety medicines and other drugs that also slow breathing and brain activity.
The agency said a growing number of people fighting opioid addiction with methadone or buprenorphine also take other prescription drugs that slow action of the central nervous system.
It supports and conducts research across a broad range of disciplines, including genetics, functional neuroimaging, social neuroscience, prevention, medication and behavioral therapies, and health services. It then disseminates the results of that research to significantly improve prevention and treatment and to inform policy as it relates to drug abuse and addiction. Additional information is available at drugabuse.gov or by calling 301-443-1124.
Saying I'm proud, is an understatement. Opioid addiction is real and it is getting worse. Help raise awareness to save someone else's Luke. pic.twitter.com/6Pf2ZiYZnI
— Abby◡̈ (@abbyyjayyy) September 20, 2017
The drug addiction overpowers fear and common sense warnings, says one woman addicted to opioids https://t.co/bfyY3gBWoL
— NPR (@NPR) September 21, 2017
Over 33,000 Vets/yr. die from 2 wars that killed 6,800. Help Vets. A med that stops pain, non addictive, no overdose& stops opioid addiction
— Bruce (@1basp1) September 20, 2017
— Advocates for Opioid Recovery (@AORecovery) September 19, 2017
Most of our attention is focused on the effect of opioids on those closest to us – our families, friends, and communities. The next time you hear a story on the news about another local overdose, remember that this happens all around the nation. If you have ideas for solutions, reach out to organizations that can help. If you know someone who is struggling with an addiction, try to guide them towards some resources that can help. When we stand around without taking action or trying to find solutions we are demonstrating our complacency.