Palm Beach Gardens, FL – In a recent interview to discuss the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference (NWCDC) session Opioid Addiction: The Causes, Costs and Solutions, Dr. Gary Franklin, Medical Director at the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, stated that the opioid crisis is a problem created by man which will require man-made solutions. Dr. Franklin’s session, being held during the 21st Annual NWCDC, November 7 – 9, 2012 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is one of several that will explore solutions for battling opioid abuse in workers’ comp.
“The opioid crisis is a public health emergency right now,” said Dr. Franklin. “The goal of my session is to educate attendees and get them fired up to try to solve this problem.”
In recent years, opioid narcotics have accounted for a large majority of workers’ comp claims. According to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the overuse of opioid therapy to treat chronic pain conditions is becoming an epidemic in the United States.
“Opioid use beyond three months is already associated with dependence, and could build to subsequent addiction,” said Dr. Franklin. “People shouldn’t use opioids chronically unless it’s absolutely necessary and only for the most severe conditions, which eliminates most workers’ comp injuries because the majority of workers’ injuries are sprains and strains.”
Among the list of man-made problems facilitating the narcotics epidemic, Dr. Franklin believes organized medicine, drug company lobbying, lack of limitations on dosage and constant marketing of opioids are heavily to blame.
“Even the federal government isn’t having much success solving the problem,” said Dr. Franklin, “but the first solution to battling the opioid crisis is to reverse liberal state laws passed back in the early 1990s.”
According to Dr. Franklin, if states repeal their narcotics laws and adopt new laws that reflect best practices they will ensure opioids are used safely and effectively.
Dr. Franklin’s November session will provide attendees with many more solutions for winning the fight against opioid abuse. He will be joined by Thomas Jan, D.O., Physician at Massapequa Pain Management & Rehab. The panel will be moderated by Managed Care Matters Blogger Joe Paduda, Principle at Health Strategy Associates.