Category: Drugs

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Opioid Overdose Epidemic: A Perfect Storm for Workers?

Introduction Before the pandemic took hold, the United States was already facing another public health crisis – alarming rates of opioid-related overdose deaths. In 2018, 46,802 deaths were attributed to opioids, which accounted for 69% of all drug overdose deaths.1 Based on provisional data, an estimated 50,828 Americans died of opioid overdose in 2019 — Read More >

Posted on by Jamie Osborne, MPH, CHES®; L. Casey Chosewood, MD; and John Howard, MDLeave a comment

Cannabis and Work: The Need for More Research

Introduction Cannabis sativa has been used for a wide variety of industrial, medical, and non-medical uses for thousands of years, yet remains a source of controversy across the fields of medicine, law, and occupational safety1-5. Access to and consumption of cannabis have increased as a result of more favorable public attitudes and state access laws. Read More >

Posted on by Jamie Osborne, MPH, CHES®, and John Howard, MD2 Comments

Cannabis and Work: Implications, Impairment, and the Need for Further Research

  American workplaces are facing unprecedented challenges related to the rapidly evolving landscape of cannabis legalization and its increasing use among workers. Cannabis[1] is the most frequently used illicit drug (by Federal law) among Americans, with an estimated 43.5 million past-year users age 12 or older in 2018 (1). Nearly 18% of adults employed full-time, Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD; L. Casey Chosewood, MD; Lore Jackson-Lee, MPH; and Jamie Osborne, MPH, CHES®5 Comments

Suicide Risk for Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians

A new study, “Suicides and deaths of undetermined intent among veterinary professionals from 2003 through 2014” sheds new light on the issue of suicide among veterinary professions. It is known that veterinarians in the United States and abroad have a higher suicide risk compared with the general population.[1-8] This new study confirms the increased rated of suicide Read More >

Posted on by Randall J. Nett, MD, MPH; Tracy Witte, PhD; Elizabeth G. Spitzer, MA; Nicole Edwards, MS; and Katherine A. Fowler, PhD6 Comments

Injured Workers More Likely to Die from Suicide or Opioid Overdose

Drug overdoses and suicides have been rising since 2000 and are major contributors to a recent decline in US life expectancy. The opioid crisis is largely to blame, with a record 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017.[1] Suicide rates in 2016 have increased 30% from 1999.[2] Case and Deaton have called these “deaths of despair.”[3] In Read More >

Posted on by Katie M. Applebaum, ScD; Abay Asfaw, PhD; Paul K. O’Leary, PhD; Andrew Busey, BS; Yorghos Tripodis, PhD; and Leslie I. Boden, PhD8 Comments

Law Enforcement Officers’ Health Effects from Exposure to Opioids: Two Case Investigations

There is uncertainty surrounding law enforcement officers’ exposure to and health effects from opioids encountered while at work protecting the public. Over the past several years, the media have reported instances of opioid exposures and health effects among first responders and other public service workers across the U.S.[i],[ii],[iii],[iv] These reports provide incomplete or uncorroborated information Read More >

Posted on by Sophia K. Chiu, MD, MPH3 Comments