Opioid epidemic plagues workers' comp
The national “epidemic” of opioid usage has garnered a great deal of public attention, but amid those concerns is a less publicized battle being waged by workers’ compensation stakeholders who are stepping up efforts to call more attention to the use of the potent pain relieving narcotics by injured workers.
Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana all rely upon state data bases to monitor prescriptions. The States are raiding suspected “pill mills” and doctors are being prosecuted. Yet, little is being done to treat injured workers who are addicted to drugs other than simply cutting off the flow of drugs from the pill mills. Very little is being done to treat the addictions, resulting in many addicted injured workers seeking other sources for drugs.
The workers’ compensation systems are ignoring the addiction issue while reaping the financial benefits of providing less medication. The end result is a class of addicts created through work injuries and who now are stuck dealing alone with their addiction.