WCRI recently completed a great study on long-term opioid use. You can read a summary of the study here.
I found the following points from the study of most interest:
• More frequent and longer-term use of narcotics may lead to addiction and increased disability or work loss. Nearly one in 12 injured workers who started narcotics were still using them three to six months later.
• A small, but significant percent of long-term users did not have surgery and did not use opioids in the first three months post date of injury.
• Drug testing was used less frequently than recommended by medical treatment guidelines. Among claims with longer-term use of narcotics, 24 percent received drug testing (24 state median). We know based on our own findings that just because they test, does not mean they do anything with the data.
• Use of psychological evaluation and treatment services continued to be low. Only four to seven percent of the injured workers with longer-term narcotic use received these services in the median state.
Rising’s Rx Intelligence can help avoid problems stemming from long-term opioid use by intervening early before real problems arise.