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Trends in Workers’ Compensation Narcotics Use: Avoiding Early Use is Key

By John Stahl, Esq. A May 2012 report from the National Council on Compensation Insurance Holdings, Inc. , (NCCI) addressed the conclusions of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) that “the overuse of opioid therapy to treat chronic pain conditions is becoming...

IAIABC Policy Guide on Reducing Opioid Abuse Offers Blueprint for Effective Reform

The bad news is that opioid abuse related to treating chronic pain remains a serious problem for every workers’ compensation system participant. The good news is that many workers’ compensation jurisdictions are increasing their efforts to reduce this situation that officials at the federal...

Survey Says Regulators Must Be More Assertive Regarding Opioid Use

By John Stahl, Esq. A November 12, 2013 webinar that peer review and drug management firm CID Management of Westlake Village, California sponsored summarized the results of a CID survey of front-line employees and executives in the workers’ compensation industry. That study asked the respondents...

Pain in the Heartland

Far too often we hear about pill mill doctors who are shut down or even arrested. Rachel Aviv’s article “ Prescription for Disaster ” ( The New Yorker , May 5, 2014) (subscription only) provides insight into the disturbing details of what led one such doctor, an osteopath named Stephen...

California: Opioid Medications in the Treatment of Work-Related Injuries

According to the Department of Industrial Relations Director Christine Baker, “ opioid misuse is a national concern ”. As a result of this “misuse”, the Division of Workers’ Compensation recently posted proposed “ Guidelines for the Use of Opioids to Treat Work Related...

Opioids – The Grand Debate

An examination of ACOEM’s newly revised opioid practice guidelines for treatment of pain By Robert G. Rassp, Esq. We hate statistics but policymakers can’t live without them. For example, 100 million residents of the United States have chronic pain according to a 2011 report from...

Medical Marijuana Use as An Alternative to Opioid Use for Relief of Chronic Pain

A Michigan Survey Suggests That Medical Marijuana Patients Are Decreasing Opioid Use to Treat Chronic Pain Two topics that have received a great deal of attention in recent years regarding the medical treatment of chronic pain have been the use and abuse of opioids such as Vicodin and the legalization...