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Prescription Drug Abuse A Growing Problem In Indiana
Updated December 8, 2015 7:54 AM
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(UNDATED) - Indiana employers believe that prescription drug abuse is a far bigger problem than illegal drug abuse, according to a new study.

That same study found 80 percent of Indiana employers say they've been impacted by prescription drug misuse and abuse.

The National Safety Council and the Indiana Attorney General's Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force released the survey Monday. Some 200 Indiana employers participated in the poll, which took place between May and August of 2015.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced the findings at a news conference Monday morning. He's sounding the alarm over what he calls Indiana's prescription drug abuse epidemic.

The task force focused on prescription drugs like Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet, saying that drug poisonings mostly from opioid painkillers have increased fivefold in the Hoosier state since 1999. Drug-related injuries now outnumber car crashes as the leading cause of injury among adults, according to the study.

President and CEO of the National Safety Council Deborah Hersman hopes that employers will "take the lead on this emerging safety threat" to make workplaces safer.

While 87 percent of employers polled conduct drug testing, only 52 percent test for synthetic opioids. Just 53 percent of employers have a written policy on using prescription drugs at work, although 80 percent report that they've experienced an issue. Seventy-six percent of employers said misusing prescription drugs is a justifiable reason for termination - but less than 30 percent offer training around workplace usage of prescription drugs.

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