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Employers play role in opioid prevention

Rae Green’s Oct. 9 opinion, “Funding for opioid crisis not nearly enough,” highlights an overlooked issue when it comes to tackling the most significant public health crisis of our time — ensuring evidence-based treatment is available for individuals in every community. While federal and state funding is essential, support for people in treatment and recovery must happen in the workplace as well as at home. 

For decades, employers have taken a leadership role on issues that impact their employees’ safety, often going beyond federal and state policies to protect workers. Given that 75% of employers nationwide have been directly impacted by opioid misuse, every employer in the state should be taking a stand to address it. One simple way to do this is to expand access to treatment through a company’s Employee Assistance Program. That way employees can return to work while receiving critical help for a chronic disease, which is exactly what addiction is. Intervention in the workplace has been shown to be more successful than if initiated by family and friends.

The National Safety Council helps employers understand how to do this in a new Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit. We encourage all Michigan employers to use this free resource.

For a problem this complex, the solutions won’t be simple. We must continue to prioritize proven countermeasures to address addiction, eliminate stigma and ensure that people are able to live their fullest lives by supporting them in treatment and recovery.

Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO, National Safety Council

Itasca, Illinois

Bankole right about appeasement

Bankole Thompson is 100% correct in his Oct. 14 column, "I've had enough of racial appeasement"; however, a majority of us will still vote for whoever runs on the Democratic ticket because we will once again believe the promises that they make. More need to read your article.

Annette Prescott, Detroit

Black voters should back Republicans

Instead of bemoaning the obvious actions of Democrat elites in giving lip service to the needs of inner city black constituents and taking them for granted, perhaps Bankole Thompson could suggest that black voters start supporting Republicans. That would certainly send a message to Democrats and might dramatically improve the lives of the citizens by the adoption of more conservative values and policies.

John Lengemann, Imlay City

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