The Importance of Monitoring Injured Workers During COVID-19 and an Opioid Epidemic
A combination of recently released reports and polls conducted have provided some eye-opening insights to the current state of injured workers.
Cordant Health Solutions points out some interesting correlations between injured workers’ pain medication usage, lack of access to alternative drug-free therapy, and changes in mental health during the pandemic. Kaiser Family Foundation and ExpressScripts added to the conversation with poll results and a recently released report, respectively. Kaiser’s poll found that:
“45% of all adult Americans say that the pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health”
ExpressScripts followed that up by acknowledging an increase in anti-anxiety medication, antidepressants and anti-insomnia drugs. This increase in mental health conditions due to the pandemic, combined with increased pain medication prescribing due to limited access to other medical treatments, as well as the reduced medication monitoring can be a recipe for disaster.
“The combination of these types of drugs, which may be prescribed outside the workers’ compensation treatment plan, with opioids or other medications can lead to dangerous or even fatal reactions, including overdose,” said Cordant’s Chief Scientific and Technical Officer and Professor of Forensic and Clinical Toxicology at the City University of New York, Richard Stripp, Ph.D.
Read more of the discussion here.
For information on alternative treatments for pain that patients can access during “stay at home” orders and other COVID-related restrictions, click here.
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