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Regional Accounting and Business Consulting Firm Takes a Closer Look at Ohio's Opioid Epidemic and Its Impact on Employment

Via: ReleaseWire

Updated 9:23 AM CDT, Thu, August 30,2018

Rea & Associates tackles ‘Ohio’s Opioid Epidemic’ and the employment issues small- to mid-sized businesses are encountering in recent unsuitable on Rea Radio podcast episode.

Zanesville, OH -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/30/2018 -- Rea & Associates, a regional CPA and business consulting firm, recently pulled back the curtain on Ohio's opioid epidemic to analyze the drug's impact on employers in a recent episode of unsuitable on Rea Radio, the firm's award-winning weekly podcast series. Episode 144, "Ohio's Opioid Epidemic," features Renee West, SHRM-SCP, human resources manager at the firm, who touches on a side-effect of opioid use that is not typically talked about – it's impact on the workforce from the business's perspective.

According to a spokesperson with Rea & Associates CPA Firm, the interview dives into a struggle most employers report they are facing, finding qualified applicants to fill their open positions.

"You're already looking at a tight labor market," explained West on the episode. "It's very frustrating from an employer's standpoint when you're trying to find key talent and, sometimes, they don't pass that drug screen. It's a very big concern and it's one that continues to increase, not only in the small areas, but large areas as well. It's everywhere."

During the interview, West reports statistics that state more than 350,000 Americans have died from opioid overdoses between the years of 1999 and 2016. According to West, it's easy to solely classify opioids as illicit substances like heroin and fentanyl, but the epidemic also includes prescription drugs like oxycodone and methadone. Today's opioid problem does not discriminate. As a result, employers have had to find new ways to address the issue among their existing and incoming workforce.

"One of the questions I receive a lot is, as an employer, what can we do when hiring if we have an individual that we want to hire that we know is maybe a recovering addict? What are our legal obligations," said West. "A current illegal drug user is not protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act," she continued. "However, if you have an employee who is a recovering addict, they are protected. It's important to know, as an employer, what your rights are and what your employee's rights are too."

According to a spokesperson with Rea, the episode also covers what resources are available to help employers combat the opioid epidemic as well as information about House Resolution 6, which shifts opioid costs to employer healthcare plan.

"While these discussions can be difficult, they are necessary," said Dave Cain, a principal with Rea and host of the firm's weekly podcast. "Some of the topics we cover on unsuitable might be hard to talk about but, as consultants, we are doing nobody any favors by staying silent. Only when we can have an open conversation about these issues can we truly help business owners find new and creative ways to address their biggest challenges."

Listen to episode 144, "Ohio's Opioid Epidemic," at

About Rea & Associates
Founded in 1938, during the hardships of the Great Depression, Rea & Associates has established a proud reputation of serving as a financial guide to individuals and businesses, alike. Today, according to the firm's website, Rea employs a team of more than 300 professionals and industry specialists across 13 Ohio-based offices.

To learn more about the company, visit

Rea & Associates CPA Firm
Becca Davis
905 Zane Street, 2nd Floor Zanesville, OH 43701

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