Opioid misuse and abuse is a huge problem in the Workers' Compensation field, contributing to an increase in deaths and medical costs.

Meant to be prescribed after major surgeries or major trauma, these drugs are intended for short-term use or end-of-life cancer pain. "Short-term" is meant to signify a span of a few days or weeks—not years, as the current trend indicates.

The Institute of Medicine has reported that chronic pain affects more than 116 million American adults—more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined—and costs up to $635 billion a year in medical treatment and lost productivity.

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