Wellness & Well-being Highlights
Week of August 7, 2023
This week’s edition of our Worker Wellness & Well-being blog consists of topics from a new pill for postpartum depression to how costs are causing employers to limit employees access to weigh loss drugs to how pandemic-related student learning loss has negatively impacted new workers’ skills. Today, I wish to shed some light on the issue of unintended consequences. For several years, Portugal has been held up as a model country for decriminalizing drugs. And, a couple of states have adopted/adapted that model to fit their needs (i.e., Oregon). Truth be told, SUD/OUD rarely is JUST about illegal drug use. Too often, other aspects of mental health play concurrent key roles…not to mention joblessness, homelessness, etc. To debate whether or not the “War on Drugs” has failed our citizens only seems to further entrench opposing sides. In my opinion, we must recognize that the scourge of Fentanyl has touched ALL of our lives…directly or indirectly. Stats for 2022 reveal that nearly 110k people in the USA died from drug overdoses, of which ~70% were due to Fentanyl. In other words, US Fentanyl-related deaths equate to approximately 77k people in 2022 or almost 211 per day. So, no matter which side you are on, someone near and dear to you may very easily be part of that daily 211. Isn’t it time we set our differences aside and work together to reduce these numbers…at least back to 2016 figures: 160 per day? To this end, I respectfully have 2 asks: PLEASE don’t wait till this tragic issue hits your dinner table. PLEASE do consider what you might do on the upcoming International Overdose Awareness Day (August 31) to help break the stigma and maybe save a life of a friend or family member. Thank you!
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