Addiction and Work Injuries

When a person enters drug rehab, one of the goals of the program is to get to the root of the addiction. Overcoming addiction mentally and emotionally requires that you find the cause of the addiction. That’s the only way these problems can be addressed. There are many reasons that addiction can occur. Some of these reasons may be surprising.

Addiction resulting from work injuries

When a person is physically injured at work, they are covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation policy. This insurance policy is designed to cover the medical expenses. It also covers a percentage of the employee’s wages until their injury has healed and they can return to work.

This seems like a very straightforward program that is beneficial to the injury victim. What many people do not realize, however, is that workers’ compensation adjusters often push for employees to return to work too soon in an effort to save money for the insurance company.

Employees are placed in a position to return to work even though they are not completely healed. When this occurs, these employees often turn to pain medications to help them get through the day at work. Sadly, for many injured workers, this leads to pain medication or opiate addictions.

addiction to opiates

The need to use pain medications so that they can return to work seems harmless at first. But opiates are very addictive medications. And soon the need to relieve pain to work becomes just a need for the opiates.

Of course, this does not happen to everyone. However, it does happen to more people than you would imagine. A large majority of opiate addictions begin from a workers’ compensation claim.

What is the solution?

There is only one real solution to this problem for those who have not formed an addiction. The insurer must allow the injured party to heal enough to function at work without being in pain. Encourage the use of therapies like massage, physical therapy, and hydrotherapies to help the body heal. Let the employee be able to return to work without needing the opiate prescription.

For those that have developed an addiction to pain medication, going to an addiction recovery center can help. When you enter rehab, you can address the issues that have led to your addiction and get the appropriate help.

Whether you go into a rehab facility or enroll in a SMART Recovery program, your substance abuse counselor will work with you through every phase of overcoming your addiction. This includes finding out the root causes and helping you get the medical care you need to overcome these issues. Breaking an addiction is much easier when you treat the root cause.

Things to pay attention to while in recovery

If you have been injured on the job and are still receiving treatment, it will be crucial that you monitor the types of medications that the doctors prescribe to manage your pain. Even if the pills are not labeled oxycodone or oxycontin, they still may be an opiate-based pain reliever and can cause you to relapse from your recovery.

It will also be vital to speak with your attorney about the addiction and entering into recovery. Why? Because you do not want the insurance company to cut your benefits because you are refusing certain medications. Insurance companies often view a patient declining medications as a sign that they no longer need treatment or that they are trying to prolong their illness or injury. You will need to protect yourself by bringing your workers’ compensation attorney into the loop and letting them know why you have declined specific medications.

workers' comp attorney shaking hands with an injured worker

Final thoughts

Once you are in recovery, the good news is that many of the troubles you have been experiencing will be much easier to handle. Work-related injuries bring a lot of chaos into a person’s life. There are work issues, financial issues, and injury issues that you must deal with all at one time when you feel your worst.

When you enter into recovery, you will be able to manage more of these problems with ease because you will not have your thoughts clouded by opiates. This will help you recover from this entire situation much easier and allow you to move on to better things. Just remember your support systems and keep a positive attitude, and it will all work out.

If you think that you are not being treated fairly, remember that you always have the right to talk to an attorney. Don’t let an insurance company be the reason you develop an addiction.

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