Interstate Variations in Use of Opioids, 4th Edition

By Dongchun Wang, Vennela Thumula, Te-Chun Liu

June 27, 2017 Related Topics: Rx Drugs and Opioids

This report examines interstate variations and trends in the use of opioids and prescribing patterns of pain medications across 26 state workers’ compensation systems covering data from October 2009 through March 2015.

The 26 states included in this study are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. These states represent over two-thirds of the workers’ compensation benefits paid in the United States.

This report serves as a tool to monitor changes in opioid utilization as states implement reforms addressing opioid prescribing and dispensing. Moreover, by comparing variations in the use of opioids across the states, this study can help policymakers and stakeholders be better informed about the level of opioid use in their states and better target future efforts to address issues related to prescription opioids in their states.

To read our spotlight from this report click on the link below.

Spotlight: Concomitant Use of Opioids and Benzodiazepines, Other Central Nervous System Depressants

Interstate Variations in Use of Opioids, 4th Edition. Vennela Thumula, Dongchun Wang, and Te-Chun Liu. June 2017. WC-17-28.

Copyright: WCRI

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Research Questions:

  • Which states had a higher percentage of injured workers receiving at least one opioid prescription?
  • How did the average amount of opioids dispensed to injured workers vary across states and over the study period?
  • In which states were injured workers frequently receiving chronic opioids and at higher doses?
  • How often did injured workers receive opioids together with other sedating drugs, like benzodiazepines?

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