Prescription Drug Abuse and Its Impact on Florida's Workplace

Claudia Bailly
March 31, 2011

Fort Lauderdale, FL March 31, 2011 – Today as top business and community leaders gathered at the United Way of Broward County’s Board of Directors meeting, high on the agenda was the impact of prescription drug abuse on the bottom line of South Florida’s businesses. The sheer quantity of Oxycodone units dispensed in Florida annually, over 520 million pills in 2009 alone, underscores the certainty that decreased productivity and low morale in the workplace, among many other consequences, stand adversely affected.

“A healthy business environment is critical to a company’s success and given the magnitude of the prescription drug abuse problem, I would be remiss to think that this isn’t somehow directly or indirectly impacting my management team and all of our employees,” stated Britt Sikes, CEO of U.S. Imagining Solutions, a Broward-based Document Output and Management company. “We are taking steps like providing training for my management team and resources for all employees simply because whether it is my children or my employees’ children or other family members or friends, the issue is too large to ignore,” he added.

It is not easy to pinpoint a problem in the workplace, but what is clear is that there are an incredibly large number of illegally obtained prescription drugs being sold and flowing through South Florida. As experience would underscore, the face and profile of a drug abuser is as diverse as the community we live and work in.

“Local and statewide businesses are coming to us and asking for assistance and wanting to get involved because they know it will eventually impact their bottom line,” stated Pat Castillo, Vice President of the United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse. “Fortunately, we are in a unique position to share insights and resources with companies who are looking for ways to be proactive within their workplace,” Castillo added.

The United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse’s Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force represents many branches of law enforcement, legitimate pain doctors, mothers who have lost children to this terrible illness, business owners, community activists and many others. The Task Force continues to be a key player and advocate of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) especially in light of the announcement in early February by Governor Rick Scott wherein he proposed that the PDMP be repealed.

Press Releases