The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 1:00 am

Employers get opioid info

Session to prepare for health crises

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Dozens of employers are expected to gather today to talk about opioid use – mostly how to manage it.

A daylong session at Ivy Tech Public Safety Academy's auditorium is part of the Indiana Workforce Recovery initiative, a statewide series billed as the first to exclusively focus on solution-oriented best practices for employers.

“That's critical because of the Hoosiers with substance use disorder, up to 70 percent are part of the workforce,” organizers said in a news release.

Indiana Workforce Recovery, established a year ago, is a partnership among the Wellness Council of Indiana, the state Chamber and Gov. Eric Holcomb's administration. The goal is to prepare employers to deal with public health crises, like the current opioid epidemic.

Officials have been trying to increase awareness with a “Know the O Facts” campaign that includes stressing that opioid use disorder is a disease.

The Wellness Council, a chamber subsidiary, was awarded a $125,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation for the Recovery initiative. The grant will go toward the promotion of workplace substance misuse awareness, prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery.

Charlee Beasor, a spokeswoman for the chamber, said Monday that 40 to 50 people are expected to attend today's session.

Employers are also being encouraged to participate in a workplace substance use and recovery survey, which is expected to help develop solutions and lead to a “more employable and drug-free workforce,” the release said.

The survey can be found at by clicking on Indiana Workforce Recovery under the list of affiliated programs.

If you go

What: Employer session on dealing with substance use disorder

When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Ivy Tech Public Safety Academy auditorium

Speakers and presentations include: Dr. Deb McMahan, commissioner, Allen County Department of Health; Kristina Johnson, director of Community Initiatives, the Lutheran Foundation; Addressing prevention; Legal guidance on developing a drug-free workplace; and optional Naloxone training

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