White House joins fight against opioid abuse

President Obama takes executive action to address prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic.

We have blogged about prescription opioid abuse on several different occasions. It has been a hot topic in workers’ compensation for many years.

New rules were published by the WCA in 2014 limiting prescriptions to 90 days unless specific requirements are met. Michigan has also seen a 31% drop in opioid prescription for workers’ compensation patients according to a WCRI study.

Opioid abuse is also getting national attention this election year. Many communities are facing a heroin epidemic and prescription opioids are considered a gateway drug.

Executive action

President Obama has now announced executive action including the following: Expanding Access to Treatment, Improving Prescription Drug Monitoring by Federal Prescribers, Advancing Prescriber Education, Encouraging Safe Pain Management Approaches, Accelerating Research on Pain and Opioid Misuse and Overdose, Expanding Telemedicine in Rural America, Safely Disposing of Unneeded Prescription Opioids, and Improving Housing Support for Americans in Recovery.

Changes also permit doctors to prescribe buprenorphine for more patients. This drug is used to treat pain and opioid addiction. It does not produce the euphoric “high” of stronger painkillers.

Getting help for drug addiction in Michigan

Patients who become addicted to prescription opioids are covered under workers’ compensation. Michigan law requires payment of medical treatment including different prescription medications.

Inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities would also be covered. Lost wages continue while a person remains disabled from work.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Opioids and chronic pain

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by e-MagineArt.com.

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