Opioids in the Workplace

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Opioid use in the workplace was the focus at the latest Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

A panel of experts was on hand at the Naperville/Lisle Hilton to talk about how opioid use in the work place is a lot more common than one may think. Karen Alaya, from the DuPage County Health Department attributes drug use to doctors over prescribing painkillers after surgeries. She says people become addicted, then progress to harder hitting drugs, using them before, during, or after a long work day to relieve stress.

“The individual who started taking the medication for a legitimate injury suddenly finds themselves using the prescription drug to feel normal,” said Alaya.

And that use spreads beyond the user having an effect on those around them.

Naperville Chief of Police discusses the problem, “Each day in America, 170 families are devastated by a drug related death of a young person, son, daughter, sibling or friends. That’s 170 families per day so this is impacting families in a dramatic way.

Alaya stressed that there is help and hope for those in need.

“I think it’s really important to realize that recovery and treatment does work,” she said. “There is hope and so it is a chronic lifelong condition but so is diabetes, so is asthma, so is hypertension and so we need to make sure that rather than stigmatizing individuals we develop a more kind of supportive work place.

If you or someone you know needs help with drug addiction, visit the police department’s website for programs and hotlines to call.

Naperville News 17’s Allie Kaleta reports.