Employers should be on alert as the risk of increased substance misuse among employees could be on the rise as workers return to their jobs, the National Safety Council warns.

Increased substance abuse, related to covid-19, could cost businesses significantly in productivity losses and absenteeism, the group says. NSC points out that at least 30 states are reporting spikes in fatal opioid overdoses.

“Every single employee is facing an incredible amount of stress right now,” cautions NSC President and CEO Lorraine Martin.

The stress is coming from financial, employment, child/family care instabilities, social isolation, and fear of themselves or loved ones being exposed to or infected by COVID-19, says the Council.

To lessen the potential danger, the group is calling on employers to employers to prioritize employee stress, emotional and mental health support for the immediate future and down the line.

NSC is encouraging employers to implement opioid policies and procedures as part of their reopening strategy.

Source: forbes.com