Dennis Kenny Law
Menu Contact
View Our Practice Areas

Protecting Injured Workers From Addiction to Pain Meds

Increasing doses of opioid medications to treat pain associated with injury are being blamed for an increase in addiction and overdose. Between 55 to 85 percent of those suffering from problems related to pain medication are also workers who were injured on the job.

Accident Fund Holdings, a large workers compensation insurer, has been watching trends in the use of opiods for employees suffering chronic pain after a work injury. The study was completed in conjunction with the Division of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Once workers' compensation claims were tied to opiod use, the study discovered that pain medication was actually keeping injured workers from returning to work because of a newly-created problem: addiction to pain killers. Rather than helping injured workers manage pain, overuse of prescription pain killers has actually hurting some of them.

Opiods cover a broad range of pain relief medications, including:

  • Oxycodone (Oxycontin)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Propoxyphene (Darvon)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)

Opiods offer pain relief to injured workers by blocking the body's own pain receptors. But, with continued use, the body can build up a tolerance to the drugs, requiring a higher dose to feel the same relief. Long term use can cause withdrawal symptoms as the body becomes used to and dependent upon the drugs.

The insurer intends the results of its study to help medical professionals become more aware of the negative side effects of prescription pain medication when dealing with a work-related injury. Ultimately, increased awareness should help workers who are suffering from addiction to pain medication because of an on-the-job injury find alternatives and return to work sooner.

Source: Claims Journal, "Workers' Comp Insurer Launches Narcotics Program for Injured Workers," February 8, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Our Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Locations

Newburgh Office: Main Office
288 North Plank Road
Newburgh, NY 12550

Toll Free: 888-312-5516
Phone: 845-764-4494
Newburgh Law Office Map

Poughkeepsie Office
3344 U.S. 9, 1st Floor
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Toll Free: 888-312-5516
Phone: 845-764-4494
Poughkeepsie Law Office Map

Goshen Office
55 Main Street
Goshen, NY 10924

Toll Free: 888-312-5516
Phone: 845-764-4494
Goshen Law Office Map

Kingston Office
303 Clinton Avenue, 2nd Floor
Kingston, NY 12401

Toll Free: 888-312-5516
Phone: 845-764-4494
Kingston Law Office Map

Albany Office
18 Computer Drive West
Albany, NY 12208

Toll Free: 888-312-5516
Phone: 845-764-4494
Albany Law Office Map