Opioid pain medication misuse has been covered in the news often over the past 10 years. Doctors have worked to get their patients off opioid prescriptions, but it requires a slow process of weaning off these medicines and finding another way to treat pain.
If an injured worker, who is on opioid prescriptions, begins asking for more medication, then it is time for a doctor to begin regular assessments with the goal of getting off high levels of opioid treatments. A doctor can also tell by how many refills of the prescriptions are occurring, which may mean the patient is abusing the drugs or is already addicted.
In the latter case, the patient will need help from the doctor to wean off the drugs, using a step-by-step process. The patient may have already tried this on their own, but it did not work, especially if there was nothing to take its place. After all, the pain is not going away and that was the problem that started the vicious cycle.
So long as the injury is work-related, then workers’ compensation will pay for treatments needed to reduce or eliminate the use of opioids as part of pain management. In the addictive state, a patient may be advised to enter a rehabilitation center to get off the drugs. The doctor can help with connecting with the right-center for the best kind of treatment for opioid addiction.
A patient with opioid use disorder (OUD), should never be ashamed of taking this step as it will help save the user’s life. The goal is to recover the patient’s ability to return to work (if possible) and remain an asset to the employer. The patient also regains a healthy and happy lifestyle once had before the accident and injury occurred.
According to the Mayo Clinic, if you are just starting with an opioid prescription, take them as ordered by your doctor. If you take them for two weeks, then you can taper down yourself and use something else for pain management. If the pain is already gone before that time, you likely can just taper down and then stop. Check with your doctor first.
If you have been taking them for much longer, try tapering down first yourself. Ask your doctor if you can reduce what you take currently and combine it with Ibuprofen if you still have some pain. Even so, you cannot take too much Ibuprofen as it can damage your stomach and other organs. Your doctor may call you in and do tests as you go through the reduction period.
If you still have severe pain, your doctor may suggest the following alternatives:
When it comes to opioids, abuse of your prescription, and addiction, call your doctor first to get help. Your doctor has connections throughout the medical industry in your area to get you the help you need. When it comes to questions about getting medical treatment related to your worker’s compensation claim, connect with an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney.
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