National Safety Council launches awareness campaign on naloxone

'The opioid crisis has reached every corner of society, affecting workers in all industries and occupations'

National Safety Council launches awareness campaign on naloxone

The National Safety Council (NSC) has launched a workplace safety information campaign designed to raise awareness of the need for naloxone in workplaces.

Under the Respond Ready Workplace campaign, the NSC will provide educational materials to raise awareness about the opioid crisis and the importance of naloxone in mitigating its impact.

The council will also provide comprehensive training resources to educate employees on the proper administration of naloxone, so they can respond swiftly and effectively in emergency situations. .

The NSC will also guide employers on how to obtain and incorporate medications like naloxone into their workplace first aid kits or other accessible locations.

"The Respond Ready Workplace program is a pivotal step forward in reducing overdose deaths and protecting workers everywhere,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “The opioid crisis has reached every corner of society, affecting workers in all industries and occupations. By equipping workplaces with naloxone and the knowledge to use it, we can make a tangible difference in saving lives, from the workplace to any place." 

Employers are losing billions of dollars due to workers’ substance use, according to a previous report.

The opioid crisis

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse there were 106,699 drug-involved overdose deaths in the United States in 2021. That number was up from 91,799 in 2020. That statistic stood at 70,630 in 2019.

There were less than 20,000 such deaths nationally in 1999, 2000 and 2001, but that has grown nearly every year.

“From 1999-2021, nearly 645,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids,” explained the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2021, 200 people died each day from an opioid overdose, it said.

"Naloxone should be an essential part of all emergency medical kits because it saves lives — plain and simple," said Congressman David Trone, co-founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. "I've always been a strong advocate for ensuring naloxone is easy to obtain because I know that overdoses can happen anywhere and at any time. With opioid overdoses on the rise, workplaces need to be prepared to handle a possible overdose quickly and effectively. It's just common sense."

In Canada, nearly all workers with mental health and substance use disorder face stigma, according to a previous report from the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

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