About Indiana Workforce Recovery

In February 2018, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Wellness Council of Indiana announced the Indiana Workforce Recovery initiative, a strategic partnership with Gov. Eric Holcomb and his administration to combat the opioid epidemic.

The mission of the initiative is to empower the business community to play a lead role by educating and guiding employers through the steps they can take to help their workers.

The effects of substance misuse and substance use disorder on Hoosiers, their families and communities are indisputable and devastating. In 2016 alone, nearly 500 Hoosiers died of an opioid overdose, according to data released by the Indiana State Department of Health. Meanwhile, the Indiana University Kelley School of Business says opioid misuse has a staggering $1.5 billion direct impact on the state’s annual economy, and identifies 58% of those suffering from substance use disorder as being employed.

Program Objectives

  • Identify, evaluate and disseminate best practices in the workplace that support prevention, early identification, treatment and recovery
  • Educate employers and destigmatize the opioid crisis through increased awareness
  • Advocate for change in policy or statute to support business in its action to create and maintain a healthy workforce

Our goal is to help educate employers on best practices and ultimately, be able to identify a worker in trouble. Employers need to be in a position to proactively respond to the opioid crisis versus reacting when an employee overdoses in the bathroom or parking lot.

Jennifer Pferrer

Executive Director, Wellness Council of Indiana

No question the opioid crisis has infiltrated the business community. There are employees unable to be as productive on the job, in need of extra medical care and increasingly absent from work. It even impacts the hiring process: Qualified applicants may not pass a drug test.

Kevin Brinegar

President and CEO, Indiana Chamber of Commerce