Many Injured Workers Remain on Opioids, Study Finds

Nearly 1 in 12 injured workers who were prescribed narcotic painkillers still were on the drugs three to six months later, according to a new report on worker’s compensation claims.

The report also found that drug testing and psychological evaluation, two measures designed to reduce abuse of the drugs, were not being done most of the time.

The study, which looked at 300,000 worker’s compensation claims in 21 states, including Wisconsin, highlights how doctors often don’t follow treatment recommendations for long-term monitoring of injured workers who receive opioid pain medications.

“There are workers who get these pills and go home and spend the whole day on the sofa,” said Kolodny, president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. “Most addiction experts would call that addiction.”