BATON ROUGE, La.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Louisiana Association of Self Insured Employers has endorsed the U.S. Surgeon General’s “Turn the Tide Rx” campaign to end the opioid epidemic. The campaign urges health care professionals to improve opioid prescribing practices.
“Louisiana is the poster child for opioid misuse in workers’ comp,” said LASIE Executive Director Gary Patureau.
Eighty-five percent of Louisiana’s injured employees who receive pain medications, receive opioids, according to the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute’s “Interstate Variations in Use of Opioids, Third Edition” study. Plus, the average amounts of opioids prescribed are among the highest in WCRI’s 25 study states.
“Too many of our state’s injured workers fail to regain function and return to work because opioids are prescribed against evidence-based guidelines,” Patureau added. “This hurts injured workers who are desperately trying to get well and return to their normal lives along with their families, communities and employers.”
The "Turn the Tide Rx" website promotes guidelines that encourage physicians to prescribe the lowest effective dose of immediate-release opioids only for acute pain and only for short durations, usually three days or less and rarely more than seven days.
Yet, one in six injured workers in Louisiana receives longer-term use of opioids, according WCRI’s “Longer-Term Use of Opioids, Third Edition” report. That number was one in 10 in California, New York and Pennsylvania and one in 30 in Missouri and New Jersey.
Patureau says the employers recognize the problem and want prescribing to line up with guidelines. “If Louisiana physicians will get behind 'Turn the Tide Rx', the state could change its opioid status quickly and dramatically,” he said.
For more information on the Surgeon General’s campaign and to download educational materials, please see www.turnthetiderx.org.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, LASIE was formed in 1991 to promote and protect the right of businesses to self-insure. The organization serves as a spokesman at the state level of issues affecting self-insurers and workers’ compensation and acts as a statewide information service and educational forum for Louisiana employers. LASIE’s headquarters is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; for more information, please see www.lasie.org or call (800) 277-8362.