Prescription Painkillers are a Growing Concern in the Workplace, Cautions Chapters Capistrano

Opioid abuse and addiction are taking a toll not just on employees, but on their employers as well, says Chapters Capistrano.

It is not uncommon for employers to require drug testing among terms of employment, but many of these tests overlook a growing problem: prescription painkiller abuse. Opioids are commonly used in workers’ compensation cases, but when addiction develops, it sometimes goes unnoticed. Chapters Capistrano, a drug rehab center near Malibu, has released a statement to the press regarding addiction in the workplace and the need for treatment options.

“Employees can become very skilled at hiding their addiction,” says Susie Shea, co-owner of the California rehab center. “They go about their day-to-day without employers realizing that their focus and judgment are off, or their mind is consumed with thinking about when they’ll take their next pills. But it can become more noticeable when they’re using up sick days or are frequently late or making questionable decisions.”

More than $25 billion – that is how much prescription opioid abuse cost employers in 2007 according to one study on NPR. In California, approximately 68 percent of workers’ compensation claims resulted in patients receiving prescription painkillers between October 2009 and September 2010. And yet many employers are not screening employees for prescription drug use that could help identify addiction. Testing firm Quest Diagnostics reports that “only 13 percent of the roughly 6.5 million workplace drug tests screen for prescription painkillers.”

“No one necessarily knows that employees are misusing these drugs unless a major problem arises,” says Shea. “And executives may be scared to speak up because they’re worried about losing their job or not being able to take time off for treatment and recovery. Unfortunately there are also still stigmas that exist about addiction and it may make them more hesitant to get the help they need.”

More attention is being paid to this growing problem and employers are rethinking the workplace. Federal agencies don’t currently test for prescription drugs, but according to Ron Flegel, director of workplace programs for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, within the next several months the rules will be changing and federal drug testing will include testing for prescription painkillers.

“It’s important not only for employers to recognize that opioid addiction is a problem, but for them to provide treatment options as well,” says Shea. “Employees should be encouraged to get help to overcome addiction so that they can perform better in their job and are not costing employers billions of dollars. There are executive rehab facilities available where employees can receive treatment while still staying connected.” Chapters Capistrano understands the needs of professionals and offers customized treatment programs in a laptop and cell phone friendly facility. This can also make it easier for clients to transition back into the real world following rehab.


Chapters Capistrano is a luxury drug and alcohol treatment center located in the city of San Clemente in Orange County, California, with two beautiful ocean-view homes. Specializing in all types of substance abuse, Chapters offers flexible treatment programs that are designed to offer greater confidence in addiction recovery. With a thorough approach to detox, counseling and mental health, this center has delivered many success stories. In addition to offering alternative approaches to conventional recovery, Chapters is also recognized for providing guest comfort with exceptional accommodations, private rooms and cell and laptop allowance. Those searching to begin a new “Chapter” in addiction recovery are encouraged to contact the facility today.

Media Contact
Company Name: Chapters Capistrano
Contact Person: Marvin Kimble
Phone: 949-287-8248
Address:1525 Buena Vista
City: San Clemente
State: CA
Country: United States