Drug abuse of prescription narcotics has caused companies throughout the United States to face higher workers' compensation costs. Doctors have increasingly been prescribing narcotics to patients for longer periods of time, which in turn aides in the development of prescription drug abuse. Injured workers in certain states, such as New York and Louisiana, more commonly become long-term users of prescription narcotics. Other states, such as Arizona, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa, have lower rates of long-term users among injured workers prescribed narcotics.
Workers' compensation costs for different types of companies inevitably go up when doctors continue to prescribe narcotics to workers for pain management. Many workers' compensation healthcare providers don't test workers who have been prescribed narcotics for an extended period for drug abuse problems; nor do they recommend counseling for possible drug issues.