Workers comp programs fight addiction among injured workers


BOSTON (AP) — Meet a victim of the nation’s opioid addiction scourge: the American worker.

A number of U.S. states are taking steps through their workers compensation systems to stem the overprescribing of the powerful painkillers to workers injured on the job. They are also helping those who became hooked to avoid potentially deadly consequences.

Injured workers, like so many others dealing with pain, are often prescribed opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin.

A program being offered through Massachusetts’ workers compensation system provides expedited hearings to resolve disputes with insurers over medication.

Ohio is cracking down on doctors who fail to follow best practices in treating injured workers.

New York’s workers compensation board will allow insurers to request hearings to determine whether a claimant should be weaned off opioids.