Preventing opioid abuse. Medical professionals are finding there are many opportunities to prevent workers’ comp cases from going down the path to opioid abuse. (Photo: Shutterstock)

When employees injure themselves at work, a potentially lethal risk may ensue — they may be prescribed and become addicted to an opioid painkiller. As we know, the United States is currently experiencing an opioid epidemic — with 130 people dying every day from opioid overdoses. And in many cases, the addiction began with a work-related injury.

As a licensed therapist, I previously worked with patients who suffered from opioid addictions both in inpatient and outpatient settings. It was heartbreaking to see people struggle to cope with these dependencies, and over the years, it was the small successes that kept me going.

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