Sixty-two people die each day of overdoses related to prescription opioids. One in four teens has misused or abused prescription opioids, and 70% of those 12 and older who abused prescription medications say they obtained the drugs from relatives or friends.

Those are just a few of the facts shared during the first two Employer Opioid Strategy sessions being facilitated by the Indiana Workforce Recovery initiative. See the remaining schedule below.

While the facts are important, the purpose of the convenings is to begin to provider employers with the tools and resources they need.

“It’s very important for employers to educate themselves on how to mitigate the short-term impact of the opioid epidemic on their workplace, while building an environment that in the long-term helps them hire and retain a talented and dependable workforce,” stresses Mike Thibideau, director of Indiana Workforce Recovery.

“We also want employers to know what to do if an employee is struggling and how to get them connected to the help they need. All of these efforts are critical.”

Each session includes legal guidance from an employer’s perspective, input from local leaders in the treatment and recovery effort, and a statewide perspective from the Family and Social Services Administration. An optional segment on administering Naloxone in an overdose emergency is also included.

Employer convenings are hosted by the Wellness Council of Indiana and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Those in the Indianapolis area are presented in partnership with the Indy Chamber.

To learn about the events or how to participate as an exhibitor, contact Thibideau at [email protected] or (317) 264-2166.

Upcoming employer sessions (locations and details at include:

  • Northeast Indianapolis, March 5
  • Downtown Indianapolis, March 12
  • Plainfield, March 19
  • Lafayette, March 21
  • Greenwood, April 3
  • Bloomington, April 4
Tom Schuman is the senior vice president of communications & operations for the Indiana Chamber. He is also the editor of the Chamber’s award-winning BizVoice magazine and has been with the organization for 20 years.