FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL HELP WITH SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ISSUES IS NOW AVAILABLE TO ALL IBEW LOCAL 98 MEMBERS AND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILY.
DETAILING THE NEED
The opioid epidemic that is currently ravaging America has not spared IBEW Local 98’s members or their families.
In 2017, NINE MEMBERS of Local 98 tragically lost their lives as a result of opioid abuse. The disease of addiction tears families apart and puts immense strain on personal relationships. Addiction can cause work-related problems, lead to serious health issues and even result in death. In response to this widespread health crisis, the leadership of Our Local 98 has created a multifaceted approach to combat this problem.
ATTACKING THE PROBLEM
Our first response to the opioid crisis was to negotiate with our health care provider to limit the number of opioid-based pain medications to only five per prescription. National research has shown that one in five Americans who are prescribed opioids for pain management become addicted within 10 days of being on the medication.
Our second move was to explore a class-action lawsuit with other unions against the big pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and aggressively market opioids to consumers, all in the name of obscene profits.\
SOBERING FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Drug overdoses killed 63,632 Americans in 2016. Nearly two-thirds of these deaths (66%) involved a prescription or illicit opioid. Overdose deaths increased in all categories of drugs examined for men and women, people ages 15 and older, all races and ethnicity, and across all levels of urbanization.
Overall drug overdose death rates increased by 21.5 percent.
- The overdose death rate from synthetic opioids (other than methadone) more than doubled, likely driven by illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF).
- The prescription opioid-related overdose death rate increased by 10.6 percent.
- The heroin-related overdose death rate increased by 19.5 percent.
- The cocaine-related overdose death rate increased by 52.4 percent.
- The psychostimulant-related overdose death rate increased by 33.3 percent.
Illicity Manufactured Fentanyl (IMF) is mixed into counterfeit opioid and benzodiazepine pills, heroin, and cocaine, likely contributing to increases in overdoses involving these other substances.
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