From Medication to Meditation: Creating Better Paths to Manage Pain and Protect Injured Workers
White Paper Summary
Opioid prescribing rates have steadily declined over the previous decade, but that doesn’t mean it’s time for the workers’ compensation industry to declare victory over the opioid misuse crisis.
In addition to the continuing risks of opioids themselves, there are also a wide range of related pharmaceutical and medical challenges that still need to be addressed. Overuse, inappropriate use and failure to adhere to guidelines are issues in drug therapy for injured workers that will be ongoing concerns for the foreseeable future.
Fortunately, years of managing this crisis has enabled clinicians to develop a multidisciplinary system of effective responses. A patient-centric approach to addressing pain in today’s workers’ compensation environment should be built around focused deprescribing, pharmacological and non-pharmacological opioid alternatives, and an enhanced role for behavioral care.
According to two clinical experts in the field, an effective treatment plan should be as individualized as possible and incorporate the many lessons learned from the past ten-plus years of responding to opioid misuse.
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