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Impact on Employers 

Employers who deal with employees struggling with addiction know firsthand the toll it can take on their business. The effects of addiction can be far-reaching, from increased absenteeism and decreased productivity to higher healthcare costs and decreased employee morale. It is essential for employers to recognize that addiction is a treatable medical condition and to offer support and resources to help their employees overcome it. By implementing a comprehensive addiction treatment program, such as Spirit Keepers, that offers both medical and behavioral health treatment, employers can provide their employees with the tools they need to overcome addiction and improve their overall health and well-being. By investing in the health and recovery of their employees, employers can also reap the benefits of a more productive and engaged workforce.

Employer Cost of Addiction

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  • Employers spend billions of dollars annually to treat addiction. These costs include treating the psychological and physical problems that accompany alcoholism and substance abuse.​

  • Addiction increases absenteeism, reduces workforce productivity, and negatively impacts morale.​

  • Addiction leads to accidental workplace injuries, which drives up disability and workers’ compensation costs. ​

  • As the addiction epidemic continues to grow, more employees will enter treatment—but without effective treatment, the likelihood that an employee will lapse back into addiction is about 90%. ​

  • “Under The Radar Screen”: Medical and pharmacy ​
    claim data does not capture a significant percentage ​
    of employees with alcohol and opioid addiction. ​
    Many employees with performance issues or multiple ​
    absences are alcohol or opioid addicts who have ​
    either not yet recognized their problem or have not ​
    sought care for their addiction.

What HR Professionals Say

  • 67% of HR professionals believe addiction is one of the most serious issues facing their company.​

  • Most significant problems companies experience due to addiction:​

  • Absenteeism (62%)​

  • Reduced productivity (49%)​

  • Missed deadlines (31%)​

  • Increased health care costs (29%)

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Traditional Treatment Falls Short

Residential Treatment Centers (RTC): Expensive, relatively ineffective​

Patients continually relapse and repeatedly return to rehab​

  • Average time spent in RTC: 3 months​

  • Average cost of RTC stay:  ~$25k/month * 3 months = $75,000 ​

  • Average relapse rate: 90%​

  • Average number of RTC visits: 3 ​

  • Average Total Cost of RTC: 3 * $75,000 = $225,000​

Traditional Medical Treatment: Primarily Harm Reduction​

  • Ineffective: Methadone and Suboxone carry potential for abuse​

  • Unsustainable (opiate agonist): Replacing one addictive drug with another​

  • Adherence Challenge: Patients don’t take pills, don’t return to doctor for regular injections​

  • Expensive: High rate of recidivism means self-insured employers often pay for multiple courses of drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and continue to suffer lost productivity and other employer/employment related costs

Key Points

  • Alcohol and opioid addiction costs employers billions of dollars each year in the form of medical expenses and lost productivity​

  • Selecting Spirit Keepers as your preferred addiction treatment provider will save you money (reduced medical spend, improved productivity), while also potentially save the lives of your employees

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