Drug & Alcohol Abuse

News & Analysis as of

Employee Training Requirements Lowered for Tennessee Drug-Free Workplace Employers

In order to maintain certification as a Tennessee Drug-Free Workplace for purposes of the workers' compensation coverage premium reduction, employers were supposed to have been conducting annual drug-free workplace training...more

Worth Another Look: Combatting Opioid Addiction

In January of 2016, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published a list of the top 10 issues that will be before state legislatures across the nation this year. With little expected on the legislative front...more

Is There Coverage for The Pill Mill Lawsuits?

In an effort to deal with the terrible epidemic of drug abuse and the human and economic costs of this dilemma, the state of West Virginia has brought lawsuits in several jurisdictions against pharmaceutical companies and...more

Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Following the July 13 U.S. Senate's passage of Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), providers, families and communities should evaluate the act's impacts. The reform, S. 524, is viewed as a comprehensive approach...more

Additional Opioid Policy Changes Announced: What You Need to Know

Despite the July 4 holiday, the past week featured significant regulatory and legislative action addressing the use of opioids and pain management. The changes are in keeping with the Government-wide push to better understand...more

Pharmacy Settles Claim for Filling Forged Rx’s, as Trend Continues

There was a time when liability—criminal or civil—for drug abuse or forged prescriptions usually lay only with the abuser or the forger and those who actively helped them. Those days are long gone. First, we had PDMPs...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Governor Paul LePage Signs Executive Order to Pay for Bills Passed in Second Regular Session of...more

NC Legislative Update - June 2016 #4

Last Week - It appears that House and Senate leadership will keep their word on adjourning before the 4th of July, with leadership of the two chambers apparently agreeing to a budget over the weekend. The Senate worked...more

Barflies or Worker Bees: Alcohol at Work, What’s the Deal?

Seyfarth Synopsis: Is the glass half full (of perks) or half empty (with liabilities) for employers who serve alcohol in the workplace? Various California laws implicate the practice of providing alcohol for employees at...more

Addressing the Opioid Abuse Epidemic

The existence of an opioid drug abuse and addiction problem in the United States is no secret, although the scale of this problem may be less well known. From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 persons died from overdose related...more

Clarifying Irving: Can an Alberta Employer Implement a Random Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy in a Safety Sensitive Workplace?

Despite a new decision on the issue from the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench (the “Court”) on May 18, 2016, the answer to this question remains “maybe.” The Court has, however, provided us with a measure of clarity concerning...more

Alcohol-Related Workplace Injuries Recordable, OSHA Says

Employers are not exempt from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s reporting rule for on-the-job injuries linked to alcohol intoxication even though the injured employee’s consumption of alcoholic beverages...more

Congress acts on opioid drug epidemic as judge unseals OxyContin files

Here are some developments worth watching in the nation’s battle against the epidemic of opioid drug misuse that killed 28,000 Americans in 2014 alone...more

Massachusetts Enacts First-in-Country Opioid Take Back Law

On March 14, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts signed a bill entitled “An Act Relative to Substance Use, Treatment, Education and Prevention.” This legislation contains multiple provisions designed to control...more

House To Take Up Opioid Legislation, But Does Senate Have Enough Time

Last month, the House Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C) advanced eleven opioid-related pieces of legislation. While the House version of the Senate-passed Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) has yet to...more

Health officials failing to protect patients from opioid-addicted caregivers

As the epidemic of prescription drug abuse spreads nationwide, public health authorities are failing to protect patients from the criminal wrong-doing of opioid-addicted caregivers, the Denver Post has reported. The...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Maine Legislative Session in Recess Until April 29 - In late night sessions ending at 2:30...more

Senate HELP Committee Approves Mental Health Reform, Public Health Bills

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee recently approved the following health policy bills: - ..S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 — to improve coordination between federal agencies...more

Proposed Changes to the Part 2 Regulations: Another Example of Necessary Flexibility in the Wake of Changes to Health Care...

On February 9, 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published a proposed rule to update and modernize the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations governing...more

SAMHSA Seeks Comment on Proposed Changes to Address Barriers to Information Sharing

The Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is seeking comments by April 11, 2016 on a proposed rule to make significant changes to 42 CFR Part 2, the...more

FDA Takes Further Steps to Curb Opioid Abuse

Required Black Box Warnings on Immediate Release Opioids - Closely following on recent efforts undertaken by states and the Centers for Disease Control to curb opioid abuse (review further here and here), the U.S. Food...more

Washington, D.C. Update – March 2016

With only a handful of items currently active on the House and Senate agendas, FY17 appropriations legislation is the major legislative game in town. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees are moving forward with...more

Recovery House’s RLUIPA Challenge Fails

The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has rejected RLUIPA and other claims asserted by a religious group in Affordable Recovery Housing v. City of Blue Island (N.D. Ill. 2016). The case stems from...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Paul LePage Refuses to Swear In Senator-Elect Susan Deschambault - On Tuesday, March 29, a...more

Protecting Alcoholics, Preventing Alcohol Misuse and Distinguishing Between the Two

It has long been clear that the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) protects alcoholism if it qualifies as a “disability.”1  That said, courts have consistently held that employers can have legitimate work rules...more

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