Longer-Term Use of Opioids

With opioid misuse a top public health problem in the United States, this study examined longer-term use of narcotics in 21 states and how often recommended treatment guidelines for monitoring injured workers with longer-term use were followed by physicians.

The information provided will help public officials identify means to strengthen the design or implementation of public policies related to narcotic use, and help payors target efforts to better manage the use of narcotics while providing appropriate care to injured workers and reducing unnecessary risks to patients and unnecessary costs to employers.

The study is based on nearly 300,000 workers' compensation claims and 1.1 million prescriptions associated with those claims from 21 states. The claims represent injuries arising from October 1, 2006, to September 30, 2009, with prescriptions filled up to March 31, 2011. The underlying data reflect an average of 24 months’ experience.

The states included in this study are: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Longer-Term Use of Opioids. Dongchun Wang, Dean Hashimoto, and Kathryn Mueller. October 2012. WC-12-39.



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