When an Atlanta worker is injured, they can file for Georgia Workers’ Compensation benefits to be compensated for their injuries. One of the essential components necessary for worker recovery is medical treatment, which often includes the prescribing of medications. Amongst the most popularly prescribed drugs are opioids, used to relieve pain. In fact, 75 percent of Georgia workers’ compensation claims that involve pain medications included opioids. While these types of drugs are successful at treating pain, there is a very real downside and opioid abuse has become an epidemic. If you are an Atlanta worker that has been injured or has questions regarding medical benefits and prescription drugs, it is important to speak to a workers’ compensation attorney.
Opioid Addiction and Workers’ CompensationOpioids reduce the intensity of pain signals that reach the brain, thus lowering the effects of pain stimulus. They also affect the areas of the brain that control emotion. While the drugs are meant simply as short-term painkillers, many thousands of workers become addicted and continue using these prescription drugs for long periods of time. Much of the problem lies in that opioids have been and still are over utilized and over prescribed for injuries. Typically doctors will recommend opioids to injured workers for three main reasons:
- When injuries are considered catastrophic or there is chronic pain;
- If injuries involve surgical treatment and require immediate pain control; or/and
- Cases necessitating general pain control.