Seems like we have been waging the good fight against opioid misuse for a decade now. Stephanie Goldberg, writing in Business Insurance, reminds us that workers’ comp payors have a multi-front war when it comes to dangerous drug combinations.
One that must not be overlooked is the benzodiazepine family of narcotics. Benzo’s properties include (among others):
- Muscle relaxation;
Benzo usage and dosage should be highly scrutinized and restricted to select claimants. Unfortunately, as injured workers are denied or weaned off opioids, their stress levels, anxiety and insomnia may increase, and their demand for benzos may be greater. Since 1996, both the number of adults using benzos, as well as the dosage of benzo scripts issued, have increased dramatically.
Furthermore, benzos are highly addictive, and when mixed with alcohol or other drugs they can create a “heroin-type euphoria.” This is not about pain relief — it’s about getting high.
Don’t be fixated on just one problem. Aggressive pharmaceutical UR and evidence-based medical treatment plans are needed to fight this battle.
Call us. We can do better.
Posted in OMCA