The nation-wide opioid epidemic unfortunately has not bypassed the state of Maryland. According to the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute and reported by LexisNexis, 75 percent of injured workers are prescribed opioid pain medication such as fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydrocodone/acetaminophen combinations, hydromorphone, meperidine, and methadone. But what is the problem with this? After all, serious injuries result in serious pain. The issue with over prescribing these pain medications is that opioid substances are among the most addictive chemicals on the planet. As addiction takes over, the injured and now addicted victims of these drugs are compelled to consume more and more, which eventually leads to death by accidental overdose. If you have were injured on the job and are in need of opioid abuse help, seek professional guidance at once. Similarly, if you were injured at work, you need experienced legal counsel to ensure that you receive the best treatment available and do not have to rely on pain medication alone.
Fentanyl Deaths Reach Unparalleled Numbers in 2016
From 2014 to 2015, Maryland faced a 21 percent increase in all overdose deaths, according to Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. This includes opioids, heroin, alcohol, and all other controlled substances. But what is truly shocking is that despite 2015 being a ground-breaking year in terms of fatalities, there were even more fatalities in 2016. During the first six months of 2016, fentanyl deaths alone doubled from the previous year’s same time period, according to WTOP News. There were well over 300 opioid prescription pain medication fatalities in Maryland in 2016 (not including fentanyl). Even worse, there were 738 fentanyl fatalities in 2016, compared to just 192 in 2015, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Workers’ compensation is one of the leading contributors to this escalating and tragic epidemic.
The Other Problems with Opioids
Countless studies have shown that higher doses and prolonged use of opioid pain medications lead to longer recovery times, fewer full recoveries, and other painful social consequences. Family life is hurt, injured employees are not able to return to work as quickly and suffer financial difficulties because of that, and children can even be injured if they knowingly consume pain medication that was not put high enough out of reach. And, the longer an injured employee uses opioids, the more their, now chronic, injury and pain becomes dependant on them.
Contact an Experienced Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorney at Once
There are other ways to treat serious injuries and pain without the use of opioids or the prolonged use of these highly addictive drugs. Non-opioid pain medication is an option, as is surgery, physical therapy, and other invasive and non-invasive measures such as stem cell injection and prolotherapy injections, which have both been proven to drastically decrease pain and joint swelling from chronic overuse injuries. To pay for these treatments and to ensure that you have the necessary time off work to heal, you need an experienced attorney to procure workers’ compensation benefits. Call Frame & Frame in Maryland today at 410-255-0373 for help with your claim.