On Tuesday night April 4, 2017 Ohio Governor Kasich delivered his State of the State speech in Sandusky Ohio. One of the most significant points he made was on opiate (medication) usage in Ohio. He stated “That’s why I announced last week that Ohio is setting strict new mandatory limits—not voluntary guidelines—but legal limits on how many opiates can be prescribed for acute medical procedures: seven days of opiates for adults and no more than five days for children”. These are very harsh words especially for those injured workers who are recovering from surgical procedures. According to the Governor, if you have a disc surgery, for example, then expect to receive opiates for only seven days and then you will be cut off. It does not matter how much pain you may be in, there will be no more pain medication for you.
It appears that this is just the first step in the Governor’s attempt to eradicate all opiate usage. As of now it appears only acute medical procedures will be affected by this mandate. However, the real fear is that he will extend this to include all opiate usage for nonsurgical procedures. This may mean that all opiate medication that is used for general pain relief will be prohibited. So the pain relief medication that you use to just make it through the day will not be available to you and you will have to suffer with no legitimate medication available to you.
We understand that there is an epidemic of over use of opiates that have led to overdoses and the death of many Ohioans. Though this is a terrible thing, it should not prevent you, the injured worker, from receiving the pain relief medication that is legitimately prescribed to you by your doctor. To see if the prescription medication that you are taking is an opiate, please go the following website:
We will continue to provide updates on this issue as they become available to us. If you have any further questions regarding your medication and how it affects your workers’ compensation claim, please call your attorney at Dennis Seaman & Associates at 216-696-1080.