…for he that walks in darkness knows not where he goes.
Stick the point of a compass right smack dab in Eastern Kentucky. Draw a circle that includes the seven states of Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Now what do these communities have in common? They are all locations where the per capita drug-poisoning death rates are higher than the overall U.S. average.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released a report on opioid and heroin drug-poisoning deaths from 1999-2012. And there is some good news! Although there were over 16,000 fatalities involving opioids last year, 2012 is the first year in a decade that the nationwide death rates have actually declined (5% in fact).
Unfortunately, West Virginia and Kentucky are currently numbers 1 and 2 in overall drug poisoning death rates. West Virginia had 32 per 100,000 census, and Kentucky 25. This compares terribly to the national average of 13.
Opioid abuse and consequential heroin addiction are very dark places that workers’ comp stakeholders must not ignore.
Call us. We can do better.