The Opioid Crisis Invades The Workplace

Back in September, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland released a report on the opioid epidemic and the labor market.

The bank looked at trends in overdose deaths and drug use to document how the opioid epidemic has spread across the United States. Officials found that rising overdose death rates are getting worse and “could be large enough to have an impact on the labor force.”

In 2016, more than 64,000 overdose deaths were reported. It’s a grim trend that outpaced traffic deaths and suicides, with most of the increase after 2010, which can be attributed to opioids.

Latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate, the number of fatal overdoses from drugs or alcohol in the workplace increased 32 percent to 217 in 2016 from 165 in 2015. While that number may seem small, it’s growing evidence the opioid crisis has now invaded the workplace.

Overdoses from the non-medical use of drugs or alcohol while on the job increased from 165 in 2015 to 217 in 2016, a 32-percent increase. Overdose fatalities have increased by at least 25 percent annually since 2012.  

Data on the overdose deaths paints a grim reality of how the opioid crisis is fracturing the American empire from within. The Atlantic provides an explanation of how the labor market is shifting in accordance with the crisis:

Over the past few years, economists have struggled to explain why so many people appear to be dropping out of the workforce. The most telling measure of that is the labor-force participation rate—which measures the percentage of the population that is employed or actively looking for work—which now sits around 62.7 percent. That’s low by historical standards. For example, between 1986 and 2001, labor-force participation grew fairly steadily, to between 65 and 67 percent.

There are many theories about why this figure has been declining in the past decade or so: Automation, a lack of quality jobs, and an aging workforce are all thought to play a role. Still, the shortage of 25-to-54-year old workers—a group economists call “prime age” workers—particularly male ones, remains a big problem for the future of the labor market.

Furthermore, The Atlantic references Alan Krueger’s work of the relationship between missing workers and the opioid crisis:

The economist Alan Krueger’s work has shown that there’s a striking relationship between these missing workers and increasing opioid addiction. According to an analysis done by Krueger, over the past 15 years, labor-force participation among prime-age workers has declined the most in U.S. counties where opioids prescriptions are the most plentiful. He is sure to mention that cause and effect aren’t clear: It’s hard to say whether addiction breeds joblessness, or vice versa. “Regardless of the direction of causality, the opioid crisis and depressed labor force participation are now intertwined in many parts of the U.S.,” Krueger writes.

The increasing number of on-the-job deaths due to addiction is evidence of this. While the opioid crisis is often cast as a problem that predominantly plagues the jobless, some studies show that around two-thirds of those who report abusing painkillers are still employed. On top of the devastating aftermath of injuries and deaths, this can also lead to a lot of workers not performing to their potential.

The concentration of opioid deaths stretches across the United States. The bulk of deaths are concentrated on both coasts and the rust belt.

Four states where the opioid crisis is out of control…

Demographics of opioid use in Ohio demonstrates males age 25-54 have the highest rates of addiction.

Bottomline: While the slowdown in productivity and a deteriorating labor market remains a mystery to most economist. There is a clear sign that the opioid epidemic could be contributing to the problem.


EnragedUSMCExpat Overfed Mon, 01/01/2018 - 02:12 Permalink

Tramadol. A powerful synthetic opioid, highly addictive and will destroy the esophagus, stomach lining and intestinal tract with extensive use. Will also cause hallucinations, nerve damage, seizures. Avoid at all costs this shit is poison, the real thing is far and away better for pain management in terminal and chronic patients. 

That will be next on the Bilderberg satanists' list: removing pharmaceutical access and forcing patients to find relief from street dope. Perhaps that was the plan all along. 

In reply to by Overfed

TheObsoleteMan Moe Howard Mon, 01/01/2018 - 07:39 Permalink

Using that picture was unfair. I know exactly what is going on with that lady, and it isn't opioids. Here she is in her mid to late 50s, working two {maybe even three} part time shit jobs, and babysitting her grandchildren on the side just to pay the rent/mortage, car payment, etc. She is exhausted. No Uncle Sugar hand outs for her. She is probably working harder now than when she was in her 20s, and the human body just can't do that, the math doesn't work.

In reply to by Moe Howard

EnragedUSMCExpat Moe Howard Mon, 01/01/2018 - 18:38 Permalink

My point, at least not in the short term. "Doctors" hooking the elderly on the fake poison should be shot.

The reason so many old bastards like us that grew up in the '70's are still around is we had the real thing. Wait until the mindless millennial shitheads hit 50, they will look like the walking fucking dead - those that are left. And they want to kill Social Security....


In reply to by Moe Howard

shovelhead EnragedUSMCExpat Mon, 01/01/2018 - 11:07 Permalink

However, according to a 2014 report by the World Health Organizations Expert Committee on Drug Dependence '" many cases of tramadol dependence, a history of substance abuse is present....but....the evidence for physical dependence was considered minimal. Consequently, Tramadol is generally considered as a drug with low potential for dependence. In a recent German study (including a literature study, an analysis of two drug safety databases, and questionnaires analyses), the low abuse and low dependence potential of Tramadol were re-confirmed. The German expert group found a low prevalence of abuse or dependence in clinical practice in Germany, and concluded that Tramadol has a low potential for misuse, abuse, and dependence in Germany”.[29] 

Yer completely full of shit, bud.

Maybe if you're abusing the shit out of it, but a couple of 50mg. tramadol let me walk again like a human and I can use it daily for a month at a time or not at all with no ill effect either way. It's like saying aspirin is addictive.

ANYTHING is addictive if you decide it is. I was a complete sex addict at 16. I decided it was neccessary at least twice a day. Lucky for me, my girlfriend was slightly worse than me.

In reply to by EnragedUSMCExpat

HedgeJunkie A Sentinel Mon, 01/01/2018 - 04:49 Permalink

I am in chronic pain, due to some shit I did as a volunteer EMT back in the day, I don't want meds because they fuck with my mind.  I want some other way to deal with it other than ignoring, Jedi mind tricking, putting it off on another level, or doing exercises...this shit really hurts.  But my health insurance denies me pain management because I haven't tried pain medications.  I have tried pain medication, I've got a two years supply of OxyContin and Naproxen and Tylenol III, all of which fail, mess up my mind, and give me constipation.  I'm off of them, for years, and simply want to control this issue within my own body.

In reply to by A Sentinel

TheObsoleteMan HedgeJunkie Mon, 01/01/2018 - 08:12 Permalink

Isn't it strange how the Feds allowed the states to sue the tobacco companies for selling a deadly, addictive product to the public, but are actively trying to block them from sueing the drug companies? That alone should tell you something. The government wants people addicted and strung out so they can't think and act on the things that are destroying them. Like yourself, I too live in chronic pain, and let me tell you; there really is something to be said for a couple tokes off of a good joint. I hadn't smoked any pot in over thirty years and really didn't want to, but my back was to the wall, so I tried it, and it was amazing! That is why you see all of these legalization efforts now, and when the government even supports it, you know why: THEY WANT TO CONTROL IT. They know the genie is out of the bottle so to say, so it is time for plan b. Do not "register" with the state, and do not get your weed from their dispensaries. I get mine the same way I did when I was a kid. It's just not $25 an oz anymore!


Any doctor from a "pain management clinic" that tells you they can prescribe you opioids, synthetic or natural, and you will not become addicted is a fucking liar. First you become habituated, then you become addicted, then you become dependant. Just don't do what this idiot I used to work with did. He threw all of his dead mother's dilaudids out on his back lawn, thinking the rain would take care of them. Instead, for days he had to go around with a wheel barrel picking up all the dead squirrels that had eaten them.

In reply to by HedgeJunkie

shovelhead TheObsoleteMan Mon, 01/01/2018 - 11:41 Permalink

If you can grow a houseplant you can grow weed. Really good weed will take some knowledge. A $60 400w HPS ballast kit and a $20 bulb will get you enough weed to fill a bunch of quart mason jars full of primo. From clone to harvest with a $14, 2.2 lb.nutrient that will last a year. Knowing "real" plant biology will outgun spending tons of money every time. Growing simply and knowing what to do and when to do it brings you essentially free weed. Extraction can be as simple as sifting hash or a science lab. Why smoke the plant it's sitting on when you can just separate the tricomes, which is the active ingredient, from the vegetation? Much better for the lungs and far easier to reduce to tinctures and edibles if you're not a smoker.

It ain't rocket science but you can pretend it is, if so inclined.

In reply to by TheObsoleteMan

iadr Mon, 01/01/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

 Worth a try.  I use the capsules that are 99+% THC-free (I believe a combination of breeding- Charlotte's Web strain weed, plus some post harvest processing, I think? Sorry I am embarrassed, it's not like me not to know these things before I try something).

Good stuff. Grey area legality in the Canadian province I am in.

Subtle effect- no high (though in "an abundance of caution", I prefer to take them before bed, not before work).

Helps with anger management without feeling "different".

In reply to by

William Dorritt A Sentinel Mon, 01/01/2018 - 07:16 Permalink

Selling drugs to the infidels is one form of Islamic warfare, anything that weakens the enemy promotes the spread of Islam, Barry was on Jihad for 8 years in office and will be until the end of his years.


China is also pumping Fentenyl (sp) into the US as fast as they can.


Then there are the Big Pharma billionaires who make their money selling opioids to the masses via the pill pusher doctors in the AMA. FAKE studies were provided to the duplicitous FDA proving that Opium is not addictive, the FDA agreed.

Even the tobacco lobby was never this powerful.


I have zero doubts that the Wise Guys on Capitol Hill profited and are profiting from the Opium War against Americans, likely early investors in the pill companies producing the poison.


Meanwhile Sessions has the DEA hanging out behind the High School looking for pot smokers.

In reply to by A Sentinel