Do Work Injuries Contribute to the Opioid Painkiller Epidemic?

For some time now, the opioid painkiller epidemic has been growing throughout the US. When people think of drug epidemics, illegal drug use usually comes to mind first. While illegal drug use does contribute to the painkiller epidemic, legal painkiller use, such as those prescribed for work injuries is also playing a part in the continued growth of painkiller addiction in America.

How Are Work Injuries Leading to Painkiller Addiction?

Work injuries can often be catastrophic, such as severe back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, amputation, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and broken bones. Therefore, after suffering such injuries, workers are many times prescribed pain relievers in the form of opioids.

In many cases, following a workplace accident, employees are prescribed opioids to relieve the pain of their work injury. Unfortunately, in the process, injured workers can end up being over-prescribed opioid painkiller or in some cases, unnecessarily prescribed pain-relieving medication. As a result of being prescribed opioids unnecessarily or being over-prescribed painkillers, injured workers can become addicted to these types of drugs, which can lead to overdose or even death.

At Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin, our work injury lawyers are dedicated to ensuring work injury victim get the assistance they need after an on-the-job accident. The work accident attorneys at our law firm will be there for you throughout the process. We will help you apply for workers’ compensation benefits and make sure you receive the medical treatment you need. We strive to ensure you are properly cared for both in the short term and long term following your injury.

There are a few new labor laws that California employees should be aware of in the upcoming New Year. Chief among these is an increase in minimum wage. As of January 1st the California minimum wage will increase to 10.50 an hour. This is the first among several increases planned in the next 7 years with the wage landing at 15.00 an hour in 2022.

Also among the New Labor Laws is an expansion of the Ban The Box law. Under existing state law it is illegal to ask prospective employees about arrests or detentions that did not result in convictions. This will be expanded to include a prohibition on inquiries into juvenile offenses as well. (more…)