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Opioid Treatment and Addiction after a Work Injury

Doctors often prescribe opioids to treat pain after a workers’ compensation injury.  Doctors prescribe opioids because they can provide very good pain relief.

Many people are familiar with the names of different opioid medications. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Oxycontin
  • Percocet
  • Lorcet
  • Demerol
  • Norco
  • Vicodin

While these medications provide pain relief, it is important to be aware that there are risks with taking opioids.  This article will discuss some of those risks so that you can educate yourself and make good decisions about your medical treatment.

I am not a doctor.  I am a workers’ compensation attorney.  The information in this article is not intended as medical advice.  You should consult with your doctor and ask questions to make the best decisions about medical treatment.  This article just attempts to make you aware of some of the issues that arise.

Does workers’ compensation have to pay for opioid prescriptions?

Doctors often prescribe opioids after injuries at work. A doctor migh prescribe Lorcet if you fall and break your arm. The emergency room might prescribe you Percocet if you break your ankle.

Georgia workers’ compensation law requires your employer to pay for the medical treatment for your injury. This medical treatment includes prescriptions. You should not have a problem getting the insurance company to pay for opioids for the treatment of short term pain after an injury.

Doctors also often prescribe opioids after surgery. Invasive surgeries usually cause pain. You may need pain medication while recovering from surgery.

Some people have concerns about taking opioid medicationDoes workers’ compensation have to pay for long term pain management with opioids?

Workers’ compensation has to pay for the reasonable and necessary medical treatment you need for your injury.  That treatment includes treatment necessary to do the following:

  • Affect a cure,
  • Provide relief, or
  • To restore you to suitable employment

There is a debate now among physicians about the benefits of opioid treatment for long term pain.  Workers’ compensation could have to pay for pain management treatment with opioids if your doctor recommends them.

The insurance company may try to avoid paying for this treatment.  They might get an IME with a different doctor who will say that opioids do not benefit you.  You may have to take them to court to get treatment covered.

Will I become addicted to opioids?

Many of my workers’ compensation clients receive opioid treatment for their work injuries.  Many find that these medications allow them to function better as they recover from their injuries.

But, there are certainly risks.  Opioids can become addictive.  I have known people who suffer from opioid addiction.

The good thing about workers’ compensation medical treatment is that you only have to have the treatment you desire.  If you do not want to take opioid medication because of a concern about addiction, you can choose not to take it.

I would recommend talking to your doctor.  He or she should be able to give you good information about what risk of addiction there is.  It is certainly possible that the risk may vary as well depending on how long you need to take the medication.

Does workers’ compensation cover rehab treatment if I become addicted to opioids?

The insurance company can have to cover the costs of rehab treatment if you become addicted.  One of the questions will be what caused your addiction.

Heroin and fentanyl use became a big issue in 2016.  The CDC reported increases in heroin use.   An insurance company might contest paying for rehab treatment if you became addicted to illegal opioids.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

Brittney-lee orourkeBrittney-lee orourke
05:23 18 Feb 22
Amazing! Jason and his team were very helpful and had the best communication by far. Walked me though every step with great detail and had answers for any question I had. They handled my case better then I could imagine, it was a weird case and they stayed on top of it and kept me updated every step of the way! Highly recommend this Team! Thanks so much to Jason and his Awesome team!-Brittney
China JonesChina Jones
18:58 08 Feb 22
I absolutely love this group of attorneys, when I was at my lowest they did everything they could to help me get justice for my injury. I believe if I were to have never picked my phone up and called the amazing group that helped me I definitely would not have received my idea of rights. If you have an issue and are just not sure please understand that they will help you, stay in contact, answer any question you have, and for sure get you the justice you deserve I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I will definitely refer them to anyone who has been hurt because they most definitely care about their work and clients.
Luv LocsLuv Locs
16:08 15 Jan 22
The entire law office was attentive and responsive to all of my concerns dealing with my workers compensation case.
21:14 02 Jan 22
If you must get a lawyer involved, you’d do well to work with Jason Perkins and his team at Perkins Studdard Law.They were thorough in gathering information and in sharing all the steps in the workers comp process specific to my case. Jason and the team were responsive to my bevy of questions and concerns.I appreciated the informative videos and consultations provided by Jason over video meetings and multiple phone calls.I hope I’m never injured on the job again. However, if I am and if my employer responds as my previous employer did, I’ll contact Perkins Studdard Law immediately to handle the case.
Dana BessDana Bess
23:57 10 Dec 21
Everyone at Perkins Studdard was kind and professional. They were always extremely responsive and answered all questions that I had and followed up to make sure I had an understanding of what was going on along with emailing videos to explain every step of my case so I would know what to expect and be prepared. Jason is a very genuine person and I trusted him with my case. He answered so many questions for me even before I retained him as my WC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his associates at Perkins Studdard.

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Jason Perkins

Workers' Compensation Attorney

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