Addressing Overdose Risks: A Call for Workplace Support for Healthcare Workers

Addressing Overdose Risks: A Call for Workplace Support for Healthcare Workers

New research covering the years 2008 to 2019 reveals a troubling rise in drug overdose cases among healthcare workers. Nurses, social and behavioral healthcare workers, and healthcare support staff are facing increased risks, highlighting the urgent need for action.

The impact on workplaces is significant. Social workers and behavioral healthcare workers are more than twice as likely to experience a fatal overdose compared to others, while health support workers, including those in-home healthcare, face a doubled risk. Registered nurses are also 50% more likely to be affected.

To tackle this issue, there's a call for practical steps. We need to reduce workplace stress, prevent burnout, and identify those at risk. It's crucial to support recovery-ready programs, making substance use evaluation and treatment easily accessible. Additionally, we should rethink workplace policies to encourage mental health support and remove stigma surrounding addiction.

By taking these steps, we're not just protecting the well-being of healthcare workers; we're creating environments that actively support recovery and prioritize the resilience of those who dedicate themselves to caring for others. As we face these challenges in healthcare, implementing these measures becomes essential for a healthier and more sustainable future for our healthcare workforce.


Source: Cara Murez (2023, August 8). Nurses, other health care workers at high risk of drug overdose. Healthday-en.