MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 12, 2018 — Today, local business and healthcare leaders gathered in Memphis to discuss proactive solutions that are needed to help address the prescription opioid abuse epidemic in the workplace. The forum, hosted by Allied Against Opioid Abuse (AAOA), the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce, the Society for Human Resource Management-Memphis (SHRM) and Regional One Health, featured speakers to address how the opioid epidemic affects the workforce and concrete steps Memphis employers can take to help address the public health crisis.
“Human resource professionals are on the frontlines of opioid misuse prevention in the workplace and as such can be a vital resource to employees seeking assistance or more information on the issue,” said Verlinda Henning, President of SHRM-Memphis. “We are grateful to partner with Allied Against Opioid Abuse to provide a forum for building on this national conversation, both with employers and their employees, about doing everything we can to prevent opioid abuse and misuse.”
AAOA is a national coalition convening stakeholders across the country to engage and raise awareness to prevent prescription opioid misuse and abuse in communities and the workplace. AAOA brought together leading organizations in the Memphis community to educate employers about the rights, risks and responsibilities associated with opioid use and discuss best practices for addressing the issue in the workplace. The panel discussion included Judy Bell of Judy Bell Consulting, Donna DiClementi of Methodist Healthcare Employee Assistance Program and Jeff Weintraub of Fisher Phillips, and was moderated by Susan Cooper of Regional One Health.
“AAOA is pleased to partner with these groups that are leading forces in the fight against opioid abuse in the Memphis community,” said John Parker, Senior Vice President of the Healthcare Distribution Alliance and founding member of AAOA. “As the opioid abuse epidemic continues to take its toll on families across the country, it is important for business, healthcare and community leaders to join together and hold discussions like this to raise awareness about steps that can be taken to mitigate abuse and misuse of these pain medicines.”
The event also included a training on proper disposal of prescription opioids and a drug deactivation bag demonstration. According to a recent national poll, an estimated one in three people said they were unaware of the need to dispose of leftover prescription opioids. By ensuring leftover prescription opioids are properly and safely disposed of, employers and employees can help to prevent prescription opioid misuse and abuse before it happens.
“Studies show that employers have experienced prescription drug abuse in the workplace, though only a small number feel well prepared to deal with the issue,” said Ernest Strickland, Senior Vice President for Workforce Development of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce. “With events like today’s forum partnering with Allied Against Opioid Abuse, our goal is to coordinate with the larger business community in the Memphis region on best practices and resources to prevent future opioid misuse in the workplace.”
AAOA has created online resources and tools to help patients, providers, pharmacists and the public understand the rights, risks and responsibilities associated with prescription opioids available at www.AgainstOpioidAbuse.org.
For all press inquiries, please contact Press@AgainstOpioidAbuse.org.
About Allied Against Opioid Abuse
Allied Against Opioid Abuse is a national education and awareness initiative to help prevent abuse and misuse of prescription opioids. Founded by the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, the initiative is a collaborative effort with diverse partners across the pharmaceutical supply chain, as well as organizations that are experts in public health and healthcare, including Alliance for Aging Research, American Physical Therapy Association, Caregiver Action Network, Healthcare Leadership Council, Mental Health America, National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, National Community Pharmacists Association, National Council on Patient Information and Education and the PA Foundation. Our goal is to contribute to solving the opioid crisis in a meaningful way by educating patients about their rights, risks and responsibilities. To learn more, visit www.AgainstOpioidAbuse.org or follow us on Twitter: @AAOA_Tweets.