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Strategies for Combating Opioid Addiction

Burdine & Brown Nov. 16, 2019

From time to time I read articles from insurance company friendly publications about their views on various topics. It is always good to examine how the “other side” thinks.

In August 2019, I read an article on opioid addictions written by a company nurse. She gave eight (8) ways to help the injured worker through the addiction to recovery. I will deal with the three (3) of these ways in this article:

1-Shift the healthcare mindset from “pain free” to “managed pain”. She blames opioids as the main reason why injured workers seek a pain free life from their injuries. Frankly, if the worker was pain free before the job injury, why is it not a reasonable goal to be pain free at some point after QUALITY MEDICAL CARE has been offered to the injured person? Is this just an example of poor medical treatment by a bunch of company doctors whose goal is to swiftly put the worker back to any job without quality care? I wonder. Why can't we expect the best? In many instances, the worker is just not getting quality medical care. Don't blame it on the opioids!

2-Educate the workers about the potential adverse effects associated with taking prescription pain medications.

Now this is a valid concern for us all. A person can become addicted to opioid in as little as a month. If there is alternative medicine, be quick to employ it. If possible stay away from opioids.

3-Avoid and minimize opioid prescriptions in the first place.

In Georgia, since the employer and insurance company control the medical treatment of the doctors by rewarding and penalizing those on the company panel of doctors, you would think that this problem can be solved. The insurance companies like to call this network of company doctors by another name, “managed provider network”.

The Georgia workers' compensation system has been attacked by the crowd of professional managed care sorts to put a limit on the kind of medication and the duration of the medicine that is dispended to the injured worker. This is a “one size fits all” approach and has been rejected in other states. Let's hope this system is not adopted in Georgia.

I will address other opioid related topics in another entry soon. Until then, think about why is it necessary to control the inured worker's medical treatment to such a degree, unlike private citizen care? Control of the person to this degree reminds me of Socialism. Not good at all!