Speech – Elliot Richardson, Guest Speaker

The opioid crisis devastates individuals, families and communities across the nation.

If you are here tonight supporting A Safe Haven, you know the terrible human toll of the opioid crisis.

What I want you to know tonight is that opioid addition also has a profound impact on the small business community and our economy.


Annual Economic Burden

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • In 2013
  • The annual ECONOMIC burden of prescription opioid overdoses, abuse and dependence in the United States was 78.5 billion dollars.

Prime-Age Workforce

  • According to the American Action Forum:
  • 919,400 prime-age individuals were not in the labor force due to opioids in 2015
  • That same year, the economy lost approximately 1.5 billion hours of work because of opioids.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

  • 2012 Hopkins-Accident Research Fund Study found that employees prescribed opioids had average total claims costs 4-8 times greater than similar claims that did not include opioids.

There is much more information that shows the impact the opioid crisis has on our economy and small businesses.

Granular Level

On a more granular level, when employees become addicted to opioids the results are devastating.

Productivity suffers

Talented and dedicated employees are difficult to replace.

Work does not or cannot get done adding pressure on co-workers

The emotional impact on a small business can be debilitating.

A business may fall completely apart.


In 2018, A Safe Haven, Representative La Shawn Ford and the SBAC led the charge to pass a bill allowing health insurance companies to cover state licensed residential care, including recovery homes, for substance abuse.

That was a good first step.

But there is much more to do such as ensuring our state release funds to help provide quality residential treatment to those struggling under the weight of opioid addiction.

Small Business Community and A Safe Haven – coalition

A Safe Haven works passionately to address the opioid crisis

Small business can provide needed support

Fight together to help people recover and end the opioid crises.