Workers Compensation Coverage – Opioids are a gateway drug to heroin

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Workers Compensation Coverage – Opioids are a gateway drug to heroin

While there were 16,235 deaths involving prescription opioids in 2013, an increase of 1% from 2012, the number of deaths involving heroin increased dramatically. There were 8,257 heroin-related deaths in 2013, up 39% from 2012. Total drug overdose deaths in 2013 hit 43,982, up 6% from 2012.

  • A California Workers’ Compensation Institute study reported that patients receiving high doses of opioids took three times longer to return to work than injured workers who received lower doses.
  • In Michigan, claimants who received short-acting opioids such as Oxycodone were 76% likelier to have workers comp costs exceeding $100,000. Injured workers who were prescribed a long-acting painkiller such as Fentanyl were four times likelier to file catastrophic claims exceeding $100,000, according to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

In addition to petitioning state and local government to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, employers should work with physicians to ensure they are prescribing opioids at appropriate levels.

To identify and correct coverage and service gaps in your insurance coverage contact us at before one minute from normal strikes.

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