Workplace Violence and the Opioid Epidemic

Workplace Violence spikes as nation struggles to handle the opioid epidemic.

The rising violence within hospitals reflects what’s going on in the surrounding community, such as increasing substance abuse, opioid addiction and serious, untreated mental illness.

Violent patients on drugs can disrupt an emergency room. Hospitals do have protocols in place to deal with it, and they are increasingly working with police out in the community.  The Police help ER teams prepare by alerting them in advance, but these admissions are challenging. Sometimes they don’t know what drug the patient has used. There are so many synthetic drugs, and it’s just hard to know what can be done to stabilize some of the violent patients that arrive.


Training, awareness drills, protocols, de-escalation training and back-up to call would help nurses feel safer.  The question is asked “What’s Plan A, Plan B, Plan C?” While nurses and doctors in ERs and psychiatric units already have a lot of training, the situation in the field has risen to the point where it’s beneficial to provide reality based MAB training across the board.