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Opioid Addiction Affecting Factory Employees

Auto Factories Like GM Take Steps to Fight Opioid Addiction in their Factories

The opioid crisis continues to grow throughout America, especially in automotive manufacturing factories.

Opioid Addiction Affecting Factory Employees

If you’ve turned on the news in the past year, there’s an excellent chance that you’ve heard about the opioid epidemic that is plaguing not just the United States, but countries around the world.  However, the United States has, without a doubt, been affected by this crisis the most.  Almost every person in this country has been negatively impacted by the disease of opioid addiction, whether it be a good friend, family member, or themselves that has come under the spell of constantly craving opioids.   Of these people affected directly, the auto manufacturing industry has been hit hard as well.  Luckily, these manufacturers in the United States realize the problem and are ready to help versus disposing of those affected and just making matters worse.

Scientists, doctors, and lawmakers are in a frenzy trying to create preventive measures and addiction reversal methods to keep the body count from rising, but America cannot soely depend on these scientists, doctors, and lawmakers to fix the problem.  After all, many of these people helped create the problem negligently in the first place by pushing prescription painkillers are patients that didn’t necessarily need them and by keeping them prescribed to the drugs for a much longer duration than necessary.  And the problem is much larger than prescription pain killer abuse.  There are now many loopholes in laws that allow users to legally obtain “Research chemicals” and other substances that are much stronger than traditional painkillers.  The cartels also seem to be pushing heroin use on Americans as well.  So it seems that Americans are being attacked by many angles, making opioids very easy to obtain.

General Motors Combats Opioid Addiction in Factory Employees

Many auto makers seem to be using opioid drugs because they make them feel young again and able to increase production.  However, our bodies experience pain for a reason.  Pain shows us our limitations to prevent further damage to our bodies.  Many auto makers are also using these drugs to unwind after work, according to George Washington, a former addict that has worked for General Motors for the past 40 years.

This opioid addiction is one of the worst addictions I have ever seen,” says Washington. “It’s so tricky, it’s so powerful. They’ll go in, they’ll get clean. But then when the bottom falls out, it’s one of the most painful I’ve ever seen.”

Infographic Showing Opioid Impact in Auto Factories

The first step to combating drug addiction is realizing that the problem exists in the first place and luckily General Motors has officially taken this step and is acknowledging that the problem exists and further steps need to be taken to combat the issue.  President Donald Trump also publicly acknowledged the issue back in October when he declared the epidemic as a national emergency.  According to Trump, the epidemic cost our country approximately $500 billion in 2015, and these numbers have only continued to rise since then.

GM has created an initial program to assist their employees that are fighting drug addiction.  However, there isn’t much research yet showing how to effectively combat opioid addiction, because recovery is such a long process when dealing with these types of drugs.  Their assistance program consists of several of the most successful techniques that exist today, such as addiction replacement programs and intensive outpatient counseling.  However, many of those participating continue to relapse and struggle with opioid addiction.  We can only hope that newer, more effective, techniques begin to surface in the near future.

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Paul Sawyer
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