Posted by Christine Foster on January 20, 2017
Many of our current and former clients are dealing with chronic pain from their work injuries. We see chronic pain management as one of the biggest issues for our clients and one that is affecting injured workers across the country. According to the CDC, more than 16,000 Americans died from prescription painkiller overdoses in 2013– quadruple the total in 1999.
In a 2014 study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute examining 264,000 claims from 25 states, researchers found that 65 to 85 percent of injured workers in most states received narcotic painkillers.
Opioids, a group of drugs which includes oxycodone and morphine, are prescribed by doctors to relieve pain, but can affect safety, health and productivity. The highly addictive drugs also can result in side effects such as confusion, drowsiness and nausea. When an injured worker becomes addicted to these opioids, they can have multiple adverse effects:
For the acute injury, these opioids can be extremely effective and helpful, but over the long term, injured workers who are put on high doses of the drugs can develop chronic pain and face extended treatment time. In an ideal world, our clients would be offered additional ways to treat their pain. We will examine alternatives and potential solutions in Part Two.
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness and you have questions or concerns about your workers’ compensation benefits or your legal rights and entitlements, please contact Foster Law, PC to schedule a free initial consultation. We are attorneys in Seattle, Washington with specific expertise in workers' compensation law and can help ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve. Call 206-682-3436 or fill out our online contact form for more information.