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How is Ohio’s workers’ compensation dealing with opioids?

NewsPersonal Injury   May 1, 2019

The opioid crisis is hitting home in a lot of areas — but Ohio is one of the states most severely affected because it is seen as critical to the “pipeline” of drugs that is making it around the nation.

Well, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation recently announced that it will be taking steps that are designed to keep injured workers from developing an addiction to painkillers. In specific, the program will no longer cover oxycodone prescriptions in any form (Oxycontin, Opana and the like). Oxycodone-based prescriptions are considered the most commonly abused opioid because it can be crushed and snorted to obtain a high and is also used in conjunction with heroin to extend a high.

What does this mean for injured workers? In theory, those who are in acute pain or suffering from chronic pain will be able to receive a drug called Xtampza ER. In theory, this drug is more difficult to abuse and supposedly cannot be crushed, injected or snorted. According to the Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Workers’ Comp, it’s also “equally effective” as Oxycontin.

In practice, the new rule may make it even harder for injured workers to find effective pain relief. There have been a lot of reactionary measures taken that have tied physicians’ hands when it comes to treating their patients for pain. The 2016 Opioid Rule, for example, sets out strict standards physicians have to follow when prescribing painkillers.

If you’re an injured worker in Ohio, you may find it increasingly difficult to get effective pain management — which can increase the length of time you’re off the job and unable to work. If you’re having trouble obtaining your workers’ comp benefits after an injury, find out more about your legal options.