Opioid addiction is powerful. An injured worker who becomes addicted to opioids is at risk of losing more than just their job; they could lose their life.
“Most of the people that are on opioids for a long period of time live till that next pill. They know exactly when they can take it. They have an alarm set, and they know,” Kim Pfingstag, manager of occupational health and recovery, International Paper, said.
Pfingstag recently spoke on combating opioid use in workers comp during a panel at the 2019 National Workers Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo.
While the opioid crisis has been gripping the country as a whole, it can feel magnified in the workers compensation industry.
“I realized that we had a problem in the country, obviously, but it seemed to be magnified in the workers comp industry,” said Michele Settel, president of Ascential Care Partners. “Percentage wise, we had so many more people on opioids.”