Injured Workers Getting Fewer Opioids In Florida

While fewer injured workers are getting prescriptions for opiods, Florida had a high percentage of people getting prescriptions for opioids and muscle relaxants. A new study finds injured workers in Florida are using fewer opioids. The Workers Compensation Research Institute studied 26 states from 2010 to 2015. They found significant drops in how often injured workers got opioids, and drops in the in the strength of those drugs. For the first time, more than half of injured workers got non-opioid pain medications, like steroids. But 45 percent of injured workers also got prescriptions for a drug that’s a central nervous depressant, most commonly muscle relaxants like Soma. That’s the second-highest percentage of the states studied. Those combinations are associated with a higher risk of death. Vennela Thumula, a policy analyst who worked on the report, said the dual prescriptions are most common when patients filled prescriptions both from doctor’s offices and pharmacies. “So that sort of points to the less coordinated the care, it’s probably more likely,” she said. Florida also had the highest number of patients getting a drug called tramadol – a weaker opioid. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by Florida Hospital.


About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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