Opioids

Narcotics, or opioids, are often used to treat pain, including pain associated with work injuries. Yet, abuse of these painkillers has resulted in such a large increase in hospitalizations and deaths that the situation is called an “opioid epidemic.” IWH research looks at optimal opioid prescribing practices for physicians, as well as the use and effects of opioids related to the treatment of work-related injuries in particular.

Featured

A homeless young man sits on the ground, in a tunnel
At Work article

IWH review outlines promising strategies to prevent prescribed opioid abuse

Research synthesis by Institute for Work & Health examines programs and policies aimed at reducing the misuse and abuse of prescription opioids and preventing overdose deaths
Published: November 6, 2018
At Work article

Studies consistent in finding a link between opioids for MSDs and longer work disability

But high risk of bias across available studies limits ability to draw conclusions about cause and effect​
Published: February 16, 2018
Journal article
Journal article

Opioid overdose hospitalization trajectories in states with and without opioid-dosing guidelines

Published: Public Health Reports, September 2019
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

The link between workplace injury and fatality risks and the use of substances affecting the central nervous system

Prescription and recreational drugs that act on the central nervous system can have many adverse effects, including cognitive and psychomotor impairment. An IWH systematic review has looked into the link between workplace injury and fatality risks and the use of such substances—including opioids, benzodiazepines and cannabis. In this presentation, Dr. Nancy Carnide shares findings from that systematic review.
Published: May 2019
A homeless young man sits on the ground, in a tunnel
At Work article

IWH review outlines promising strategies to prevent prescribed opioid abuse

Since the start of the opioid crisis in the late 1990s, communities across North America have tried many different strategies to curb the misuse and abuse of prescription opioids. A new IWH systematic review identifies the most promising ones.
Published: November 2018
Ontario Occupational Health Nurses Association logo
IWH in the media

New systematic review outlines promising strategies to prevent prescribed opioid abuse, overdoses

The opioid epidemic continues to grow unabated across swaths of North America. A new systematic review by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) now provides a comprehensive assessment of the strategies that have been tried to promote the appropriate use of opioid prescriptions, reduce their misuse and abuse, and prevent overdose deaths.
Published: OOHNA Journal, October 2018
Canadian HR Reporter logo
IWH in the media

Opioids linked to longer disability leaves

A Canadian review of five studies have found a link between opioid prescriptions and longer duration of time on disability, writes Sarah Dobson, who interviews Dr. Nancy Carnide and Dr. Andrea Furlan, among others, about implications of this IWH study.
Published: Canadian HR Reporter, June 2018