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K-State Today

June 5, 2014

National Safety Month week 1: Preventing prescription drug abuse

Submitted by Lisa Linck

Thank you so much for celebrating safety with us this June. For the first week of National Safety Month, here is some helpful information to share on preventing prescription drug abuse.

Prescription medications are often helpful in recovery from illness and injury, and chances are you have received benefits from one or more prescribed by your physician. Almost every medication has some risk associated with taking it, including various side effects. Being an informed consumer is very important, especially for the category of drugs referred to as 'prescription opioid painkillers.'

Helpful tips:

  • Lower back pain is commonly treated with prescription painkillers. Maintaining good posture and practicing proper lifting techniques can help prevent this common injury.
  • Properly disposing medications will help protect the environment as well as pets, children and anyone who might find medication in your trash.
  • If you suspect a coworker is struggling with prescription drug abuse, contact human resources to take appropriate action.
  • If you or a family member are struggling with prescription drug abuse, contact the employee assistance program.
  • Keep medications in their original container and maintain a log of what you're taking.
  • If possible, use the same pharmacy for all your prescriptions. The pharmacist may catch incompatible drug combinations.

Check out the free webinar today on emerging workplace safety issues at 1 p.m. today. Learn how prescription painkiller use may be impacting K-State. Register for the event.

Don Teater, National Safety Council medical adviser, will discuss:

  • The facts about opioid painkillers and how they impact worker safety and recovery from injury
  • How you can partner with your health and benefit providers to save lives and manage prescription opioid costs
  • Specific steps to update a drug free workplace program to address prescription painkiller use and misuse
  • Seven drug compounds to include in drug testing panels

New infographic: A Hidden Workplace Epidemic
Prescription painkiller abuse continues to impact healthcare costs, workplace safety and employee productivity. Check out our new infographic outlining the issue and share with your coworkers to spread the word on this increasing risk.

Here are some additional materials you can use to help promote the prevention of prescription drug abuse:
Poster: Know the Hidden Dangers
Prescription Drug Abuse Hazard Checklist
5-Minute Safety Talk: Understanding opioid pain medications
Article: Injured and Addicted?
Fact Sheet: Prescription Painkillers: Prevent Drug Abuse
Quiz Corner: Prescription Drug Abuse