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Meth vs Opioids in Workers Comp – Hidden Epidemic?


Meth vs Opioids in Workers Comp

Meth vs Opioids in Workers Comp – the silent epidemic is occurring and we may not be looking at what should be considered an even more dangerous line of drugs than opioids.

Picture of Crystal Meth vs Opioids Silent Epidemic

Opioids are one of the most discussed topics in any analytical setting on Workers Compensation.  I had begun to refer to a great article on opioids when an old friend of mine had informed me that she was getting married to one of my high school classmates.

I brought up the fact that I was writing an article on opioids as we talked.  She is a special education teacher in Dallas, Texas.  She informed that in Texas, Oklahoma,  and most of the rural Southwest opioids pale in comparison to meth and especially a form of it called ice – the smokable meth.

How would she know this – a large % of the special education students she teaches are actually due to the use of crack cocaine and meth by their parents.   Dallas is not a bad city.  In fact, due to the recent oil boom it is one of the most prosperous cities in the nation.

I do not possess a large amount of facts or figures but Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, and other Southwestern states are suffering greatly.   As we all know – as society goes, so does Workers Comp.   Meth is much cheaper and actually more accessible than opioids.

One concern is that I do have statistics on opioids, but are there statistics on meth in Workers Comp?  There are studies on most drugs, and unless I am mistaken, little to none on meth.  I must digress to a great article on Workers Comp and opioids.

Picture of Meth vs Opioids Mouth Bite

The article was written by Peter Rousmaniere (in cooperation with WorkCompCentral and CompPharma)  We’re Beating Back Opioids – Now What?   Please note that it is a PDF download.   Peter has performed quite a good bit of research.   I am going to allow myself to take a few liberties and post some of the quotes from the report.

Please note that the PDF is now part of a webinar on opioids.  The PDF is not available.

Over half of persons receiving 90 days of continuous opioid therapy remain on opioids years later.   This is almost unbelievable.

The nation’s first reported death from prescribed opioids was that of an injured worker, a beneficiary of the Washington Department of Labor and Industries.   This is not surprising. 

In the meth vs opioids in workers comp debate,  one has to look at the future to see that another illicit drug may take the place of opioids for addiction.  I do not think the new replacement drug will be marijuana.

I think the answer to the Now What? part of the aforementioned study is a new illegal drug may be the next “what.”

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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