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Is the Opioid Problem Getting Worse or Better?

By Peter Rousmaniere (Featured Columnist)

Monday, February 29, 2016 | 992 | 0 | min read

Federal agencies say that dangerous misuse of opioids is getting worse. Informed workers’ comp professionals tell me that the situation is probably improving. They are both right. Here’s why. The Food and Drug Administration’s deputy commissioner Robert Califf said the other day that “things are getting worse, not better, with the epidemic of opioid misuse, abuse and dependence.” He was most likely using as his primary benchmark the rate of opioid-related deaths, which has been rising. That rate was 9 per 100,000 in 2003; in 2014, it was 15. Ten years ago,...

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