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Many become addicted to opioids after work-related accident


After a workplace injury, New Yorkers may seek out treatment, such as medications, to help control the pain caused by the injury. While painkillers can minimize pain and allow people to perform everyday activities with ease, they can sometimes cause more harm than good.

Many doctors prescribe opioids to treat pain after an accident. Opioids are potent but also very addictive. It is not uncommon for patients to suffer from addiction, which can affect their bodies as well as their work habits once they return to their job. They may not be able to function properly without these drugs.

A study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute shows that long-term opioid use has not seen much change since 2008. In fact, it was still high in states such as New York. This is a huge issue for injured workers because it shows that doctors take the easy way out and simply fill out a prescription instead of addressing the cause of the pain and finding alternative ways to treat it. They don't follow treatment guidelines or monitor the patients to ensure that they are not becoming addicted to the opioids.

After a work-related accident, employees are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits include medical care required to treat the illness or injury as well as lost wages. Treatment may include medication, which should only be used temporarily. However, because opioids provide highly effective pain relief, they can be easily abused. In fact, opioids are made from the same ingredients as heroin, which means that opioid use can lead to heroin addiction if its use is not adequately monitored.

Source: Human Resource Executive Online, "Study: Little drop in workers comp-related opioid use," Andrew McIlvaine, May 8, 2014

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