The growing problem of Opioid abuse in WC. This subject has been covered very well in Mark Wall’s Group on LinkedIn – Work Comp Analysis Group. If you are a member of LinkedIn, I highly recommend joining the group. I cannot link directly to the group as it is password protected.
Opioid abuse in Workers Compensation is a growing problem. It is more of a societal problem than just Workers Comp. Last night, I was watching a program on NatGeo called Pill Nation. It was mortifying as I was shocked at how out of control the pharmaceutical management system has become over the last few years.
There is a short clip of one of the Oxycontin addicts. Brace yourself if you want to watch it here. The clip is a little unsettling. The show will be on a few times until Sunday. It is worth watching. I do not usually recommend watching any TV shows. This is an exception.
The bottom line of what I saw was that Oxycontin abuse is running amok in Florida as there is no system in place that tracks the prescribing of narcotics. Until legislation is put in place that will stem the abuse, Florida will be the source for illegal Oxycontin for years to come.
The one narcotic that seems to be the most abused on the claims that I have seen is Vicodin. I posted in Mark’s group a few weeks ago on Vicodin abuse level. I know of a pharmacist that works the night shift in the northeastern US. The Vicodin users line up a few minutes before midnight so that when the abuser’s RX rolls over into another 30 days, they are at the counter at that moment. There have been two robberies at the store where she works – both for Oxycontin – but no cash was taken.
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