Addiction to morphine is a significant and growing problem. The Drug Abuse Warning Network notes that emergency room visits involving morphine rose 106% between 2004 and 2008. This increase was seen in both male and female patients across a wide demographic spectrum.
Morphine addiction is a degenerative disease and as it progresses, it becomes more and more difficult for sufferers to hold a job. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that in 2010, among people aged 18 or over who reported nonmedical use of pain relievers like morphine in the past month, about 50% were employed full time.
In 2007, SAMHSA reported on an examination of drug use in 21 occupational categories. They found that between 2002 and 2004, about 9.4 million full-time workers per year were illicit drug users. Users were more likely to work for employers who didn’t conduct drug testing. The jobs with the highest rates of drug abuse were food service workers, those in the construction industry, and people involved with arts, media, and sports.
Although they may have easier access to prescription drugs, it appears that healthcare works have rates of drug addiction that are similar to that seen in the general population. They do, however, have higher rates of addiction to opiate drugs like morphine. Certain specialties within the healthcare field have higher rates of drug abuse than others. These include anesthesia, emergency medicine and psychiatry.
The societal cost of abusing drugs like morphine is high. In 2007, it was estimated that the costs of prescription painkiller abuse was $55.7 billion. Workplace costs were $25.6 billion, or 46% of the total.
Because addiction can be so devastating to the workplace environment, many employers are very supportive when their workers express a desire for treatment. Sometimes a human resources department will be a source of options and help. Insurance offered through the job may cover a significant portion of treatment expenses.
Of course, not every employer will be supportive. It can be difficult for those struggling with addiction to know how to proceed when they need treatment, but are afraid that getting it will mean losing their job. Changing jobs or taking a hiatus from work is sometimes necessary. Because of the progressive nature of addiction, when it is not treated it may lead to the inability to work at all.
If you need help with a morphine addiction, but don’t know where to turn, why not start with a call to our toll-free helpline? We’re available around the clock and are always ready to help you find a treatment option that’s right for you. We can check your insurance coverage, if you wish, and can answer any questions you have. Call today and begin your journey of recovery.