The Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to “cultivate a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.” And as an organization that partners with 25,000 members and investors (representing over four million Hoosiers), we’re well-suited to lead on critical topics to employers and employees in the state.
That’s why the Indiana Chamber and the Wellness Council of Indiana are joining forces with Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration in efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, one of the most challenging and devastating issues of our time.
The Indiana Workforce Recovery initiative, announced today to the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse, is being convened to educate and guide employers to:
- offer health benefits that provide coverage for substance abuse disorders;
- expand drug testing to include prescription drugs;
- provide effective employee assistance, wellness and work-life programs that include information and services related to substances abuse prevention, treatment and return to work issues; and
- train managers to recognize and respond to substance abuse issues.
“The workplace has long been a provider of the resources and support that help Hoosiers enhance their quality of life,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “Today, employers can and need to be part of the solution to this epidemic. By bringing together the required resources, our goal is to help deliver the information and training to help them do just that.”
Specific programs will be unveiled as they are developed. Jennifer Pferrer, executive director of the Wellness Council of Indiana (part of the Indiana Chamber since 2011) will lead the combined effort of the two organizations.
Gov. Holcomb has made attacking the drug epidemic one of the five pillars of his agenda.
“The effects of Indiana’s opioid epidemic are far-reaching and devastating to individual Hoosiers, families, communities and our economy,” Gov. Holcomb said. “It will take all of us working together to slow down and reverse this addiction crisis. I commend the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Wellness Council of Indiana for joining forces to launch this new initiative that will help our state’s employers, who are directly impacted by the opioid epidemic.”
Find the full press release here and a fact sheet on the workforce impacts of the epidemic at www.indianachamber.com/opioids. Follow us on social media for updates and more information about the initiative.