Opioid Use Down in California, Says a Workers Comp Drug Usage Study

Law Offices Of Kropach & Kropach

Although opioids remain the most commonly prescribed drug in workers compensation treatments, their usage has dwindled significantly over the past decade, a new study finds.

California government’s efforts to decrease the usage of opioids in treatments of injured workers across the state are paying off, as the California Workers Compensation Institute (CWCI) finds that opioid usage is now responsible for less than a quarter of drug usage in treatments of injured workers in the state, down from nearly a third of all prescriptions in 2007.

We brought our workers compensation lawyer in Los Angeles, CA William J. Kropach to round up the findings of the CWCI study and outline some of the most dangerous jobs in California where opioid usage is often prescribed to treat injuries stemming from these jobs.

Opioid usage fell from 32 to 23

In 2007, the narcotic pain medication, which has such side effects as sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependence, and others, was prescribed in more than 32 percent of all workers compensation-related treatments in Los Angeles and all across California.

In June 2017, the drug was prescribed in a little more than 23 percent of all workers compensation-related treatments across the state, according to the CWCI study that based its findings on data from over 12.5 million prescriptions dispensed to injured workers this past decade.

What drugs have been used as opioid alternatives then?” you may wonder. Our best workers compensation attorney in Los Angeles, CA explains that both anti-inflammatories and anticonvulsants have been used much more frequently in treatments of California workers with temporary or permanent disabilities in the past over 10 years.

Opioids remain the top used drug in workers comp treatments

Even though opioid usage fell significantly over the past decade, opioid still remains the top drug prescribed to injured workers who suffered on-the-job injuries and filed a workers compensation claim.

In 2017, the second most frequently prescribed drugs in workers compensation cases across California were drugs listed as “all other,” accounting for more than 21 percent of all workers comp prescription drugs. They were followed by anti-inflammatories (19%) and anticonvulsants (10.5%).

Our Los Angeles workers compensation lawyer from the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach explains that the dwindled opioid use was caused by restrictions introduced by workers comp payors and increased public awareness of opioid risks.

Most dangerous jobs in California with opioid usage

The potent drug, which is used to act on the nervous system to relieve pain, is oftentimes used to treat injuries stemming from some of the most dangerous jobs in California such as construction workers, ground maintenance, and others.

Through decades of experience in handling workers comp claims in Los Angeles and all across California, our Los Angeles workers compensation attorney has outlined the most dangerous jobs that require opioid usage in case of on-the-job injuries or trauma:

  • Driver/sales workers and truck drivers;
  • Farmers other agricultural workers;
  • Construction and extraction workers;
  • Grounds maintenance workers;
  • Police and sheriff’s patrol officers;
  • Roofers;
  • Logging workers;
  • Electricians;
  • Maintenance and repair workers;
  • Aircraft pilots and flight engineers;
  • Taxi drivers and chauffeurs; and
  • Industrial machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers.

If you have been injured while performing your duties at work or your injuries are stemming from your job (injuries manifested outside of work, not necessarily injured at work), do not hesitate to speak to a workers compensation attorney.

Here at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, our lawyers offer a free consultation to help you obtain compensation for your workplace injury. Contact our Los Angeles offices by calling at 818-609-7005 or fill out this contact form.

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