The Ohio Chamber of Commerce convened a task force to explore their options for helping employers respond to the opioid problem in their workplaces. One recommendation to result from the task force was to arm employers with a toolkit to help them be better prepared to prevent and respond to the problem. Working Partners® was brought onto the project because of our expertise in the field and our ability to create material that connects with businesses and convey complex ideas and approaches.
To address the Chamber’s goal, Working Partners® developed a resource to enable employers to refine or retool operations in response to the opioid epidemic. Because employer response to this problem is similar to the response needed in circumstances of other substance abuse, these resources also put an employer in a better position to limit negative exposure from alcohol and other drug misuse and abuse.
Two courses form the nucleus of the Opioid Toolkit:
- A Dose of Reality for Employers – A tool to help mitigate the risks associated with Ohio’s Opioid epidemic: Developed for the toolkit, this 5-module course (13-16 minutes long per module) reviews the legal and operational issues an employer must consider in dealing with an employee’s harmful use of opioids and other substances. The modules include best practices for how to implement a drug-free workplace program, craft solid workplace policies, offer an employee assistance program and much more. Although each module contains valuable information, it is not necessary to watch them in order or in their entirety. Each module includes printable resources.
- A Dose of Reality for Employees: An hour-long employee education course that teaches a five-point strategy and provides downloadable tools to enable the employee to understand the dangers of misusing prescription drugs and how to be a safe and responsible consumer of drugs. Once again, Working Partners® leveraged relationships to help keep the project’s cost down and worked with Cardinal Health Foundation to get permission to offer their course as part of this toolkit.
A month after releasing this free resource, available for all Ohio businesses, regardless of their relationship with the Chamber, the Opioid Toolkit received over 4,000 visitors and coverage in at least 11 news outlets.