Screening News Update: US Opioid Stats | Massive Opioid Bill Passed | University Bans the Box [Video]

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Screening News Update: US Opioid Stats | Massive Opioid Bill Passed | University Bans the Box [Video]

  • America Leads the World in Opioid Use
  • Major Opioid Bill Headed to President’s Desk
  • Duke University Bans the Box


America Leads the World in Opioid Use

We hear a lot about the “Opioid Crisis” these days, but it’s still kind of hard to get your head around just how serious this problem is. Here’s a statistic that should make it crystal clear. The US population makes up less than 5% of the total global population, but Americans consume nearly 80% of the world’s opioid supply! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this is causing the worst drug overdose epidemic in US history. The former chairman of the National Pain Foundation says physicians’ ignorance of the drugs’ addictiveness combined with aggressive marketing by opioid makers led to incredible levels of over prescribing. From 2013 to 2015, a dose of opioids was prescribed for every 20 people in this country every day. Germany is the only country that comes close, and our numbers still double theirs. While many of the 72,000 US overdose deaths last year were caused by illicit drugs, the synthetic versions are pushing the numbers even higher.

Major Opioid Bill Headed to President’s Desk

A massive bill has been passed in both the House and the Senate that takes direct aim at the opioid crisis. The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act is 700 pages long and encompasses 70 opioid-related bills under one umbrella. This bi-partisan effort passed almost unanimously in both chambers. The SUPPORT Bill makes changes to Medicaid, Medicare and opioid-related public health initiatives. It also offers grant opportunities for communities struggling with the crisis and might mean changes for employers when it comes to identifying and hiring for safety-sensitive positions. The president is expected to sign the bill. We will let you know when that happens.

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Duke University Bans the Box

Job applicants hoping to work at Duke University or in the Duke University Heath System will no longer have to check a criminal history box on their applications. The University system has adopted a Ban the Box policy that takes effect on November 1st. A post on the Duke website says that while the answer to that question is not shared with hiring managers, they don’t want applicants to think they will be disqualified just for having a record. Duke will continue their practice of doing full background checks -- which include criminal history, government sanctions, reference checks and credential verifications -- but under the new policy, a criminal record does not necessarily knock applicants out of the running. The policy has not been updated yet, but when it is, it will explain that convictions are to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


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