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Opioids & Substance Use: Workplace Prevention & Response

Workers in high-risk occupations or who work in hazardous environments face significant risk of injury, which may lead to opioid or other substance use, overdose, or death. Workers involved in emergency response, law enforcement, health care, and environmental services also face the risk of occupational exposure to opioids. These at-risk workers and other populations often lack the necessary resources and education to protect themselves. The NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) has developed an awareness-level training tool on the prevention of occupational exposure to fentanyl and other opioids, and a second curriculum designed to address the impact of the opioid crisis on workers, the workplace, and the community. Available resources are found below, along with additional health and safety resources related to opioid exposure, use, and prevention.

For additional resources related to occupational exposure to illicit drugs and the hazardous substances used to produce them, please visit our Illicit Drug Exposure page.

Training Resources

The National Clearinghouse creates training tools to aid in the development of awareness-level courses or other awareness-level materials.

Opioids and the Workplace Training Tool

This course is intended for workers and employers who may be impacted by the opioid crisis. The goal of the course is to provide an evidence-based worker awareness training program that identifies workplace risk factors and solutions for opioid use, misuse, and addiction.

In English: En Español:

Opioids and the Workplace: Leadership Course

The leadership version of the course is intended for top leaders from participating organizations who have influence and/or authority to change organizational policy, procedures, and culture to prevent and respond to opioid misuse in the workplace. This may include company/organizational directors, union officials, and other key stakeholders. In non-union settings it is imperative that some rank and file workers are included so that voices from the front lines are heard. The course focuses on identifying gaps and opportunities for organizational system improvements.

Opioids and the Workplace Toolbox

Fentanyl and Other Opioids Training Tool

This awareness level health and safety training program is designed for emergency responders and other workers who may encounter fentanyl and other opioids in carrying out their job tasks.

COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Mental health and Substance Use, Workplace Solutions

This awareness level training program may be used to update existing opioid, resilience, or COVID-19 training, or as a stand-alone program.

In English En Español

Federal Links and Documents

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)


State/Local Links and Documents

Please refer to your state or local health department website for additional guidance on health risks related to occupational exposure to opioids and other drugs.

Other Links and Documents

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