07 Mar Opioid Use Disorder and Getting Medical Help with Workers’ Compensation
Understanding Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)
If you have a serious injury while at your workplace, you will file your claim, get a medical examination, first at the hospital, then with a workers’ compensation doctor. Next, you begin treatment and get a prescription for pain pills if you need those in the beginning. It is important that you monitor how much you take on your prescription, so you do not become addicted.
Most likely, if you are in severe pain, you will receive a pain pill prescription that is in the opioid family. You would be better off if you can take ibuprofen, which is part of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug family. Save the prescription and take it only when you are in severe pain and need something stronger. It just depends on your injury and tolerance to pain.
Like any other drug, you do not want to take too much ibuprofen as you can ruin your stomach lining and intestines, let alone your liver and kidneys. Consult with your doctor about how you want to treat your pain. If you notice unusual bowel movements and the color changes too, then discuss this with your doctor right away.
Monitor any drinking of alcohol as well and never drink and take any drugs on an empty stomach. Always drink and/or take your medications during a meal to protect your stomach. Drink in moderation or avoid it altogether. The less drugs and substances you add to your system, the better off you will be, and your body heals faster.
Workers’ compensation will cover substance rehabilitation as well, so long as the opioid addiction is related to the injury and the prescription used for pain. However, if you use illegal drugs, then workers’ compensation will not cover substance rehabilitation. You are on your own. In the case of drug overdoses and death, stemming from the use of opioids, death benefits are also paid along with any other standard payments which are typically paid to family survivors.
However, those that you want to receive benefits (wife, children, etc), should be listed on your employer’s paperwork. If you have questions about this part, call an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney so you know what should be done.
If you got married during the time you have worked for your employer, update all personnel files to reflect your married status and who should get benefits. It is not always a foregone conclusion that specific family members get benefits. Take nothing for granted.
When Your Doctor Prescribes Other Prescriptions with Your Pain Medication
Your doctor may prescribe certain drugs for other issues you are having. You also might be taking drugs for depression at the time of your injury and now are combining pain medication on top of the drug for depression.
Always make sure that any combination of drugs would not break the chain of causation that validates workers’ compensation coverage by taking other drugs. You are responsible for informing your doctor (if you have a different doctor) that you have a prescription for depression before he writes that prescription for pain medication.
Getting Help When You Cannot Get Off of Pain Medication
Ask your doctor for help if you have tried to wean yourself off pain medication. If you drink more alcohol than you should, tell your doctor about that, too. The doctor can recommend a substance abuse rehabilitation center that will help with your addiction.
Call Us if You Need Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Arizona Injury Law Group offers experienced and Certified workers’ compensation lawyers and legal services for injured workers. Call for your free consultation! 480-300-7273.