Ohio BWC Takes Steps to Protect Injured Workers from Addiction

Anyone who has ever used Oxycontin while recovering from surgery or an injury can attest to its effectiveness as a pain reliever. Many people who use Oxycontin or other similar opioid fall victim to its addictive properties.  Furthermore, every year thousands of people die senselessly because of lethal overdoses.

As such, in order to try to head off drug addiction and tragic overdose deaths, the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation has taken the initiative and innovative step to move away from the use of Oxycontin altogether. Instead, BWC will direct physicians to use a less addictive alternative to aid those who have been injured on the job.

Oxycontin’s Uses

To understand the issue with Oxycontin, it is important to realize that it does have a number of valid uses. Many people who have suffered painful injuries may find that Oxycontin is extremely effective in helping them to get through the day.

One aspect of Oxycontin that is particularly useful is its availability as a delayed release medication. This helps people who need pain management throughout the day, but who for some reason cannot take medications frequently. For these people, taking a single pill once or twice a day is much more convenient than trying to follow a dosage schedule.

The Alternative to Oxycontin

OBWC is recommending the alternative drug Xtampza. Like Oxycontin, Xtampza uses oxycodone for its pain management properties however, unlike Oxycontin, Xtampza is much more difficult to abuse.

Most of the people who abuse Oxycontin do so by crushing it up and then snorting it. Some people may inject it in hopes of getting a faster and stronger high. Regardless of how it is abused, the use of Oxycontin for anything other than its intended purpose, usually has tragic consequences, as the abusers eventually move on to other opiates.

Xtampza is unique in that it is manufactured using a special abuse-resistant technology. This makes it more difficult for people to abuse the drug by making it much more difficult to crush, snort, or prepare as a solution for injection.

By taking this step, the OBWC is emphasizing the safety of injured workers. The change will be phased in slowly, beginning in July of this year.