Economics of a Health Crisis: How Business Must Lead In the Battle Against Opioids

The national opioid epidemic is heavily impacting not only individuals and communities but also businesses of every size, said Chris Swift, Chairman and CEO of The Hartford, while addressing the Detroit Economic Club on March 7th. The Council of Economic Advisers estimates the economic cost of the opioid crisis nationally at $504 billion, with lost productivity at $20 billion. The Hartford’s Opioids in the Workplace Survey found 65 percent of companies are financially impacted by opioid misuse. “It’s higher medical costs, lower productivity, higher absenteeism, higher training, and hiring costs,” said Swift. Calling on business leaders to join the battle against the epidemic, Swift said, “It’s a widespread issue that requires bold thinking and a multi-disciplinary approach to this complex problem.” That approach includes reducing the shame of addiction, educating employees and their family members on how to avoid addiction, advocating policy changes and offering an employee assistance program (EAP) to help ensure healthy and happy talented workers. Please visit The Hartford’s website for more information on the opioid crisis.

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