More and more employers are becoming concerned about the use of prescription drugs used to treat chronic pain in employees. Although legal, many prescription drugs used to deal with chronic pain resulting from work related injuries or other conditions have side effects which may in fact increase the chances of a worker getting injured on the job. This is especially true in occupations which require the operation of heavy machinery, vehicles or other duties where one mistake can result in serious injury.
It is important for any worker who takes prescription medicine to treat chronic paid to understand the side affects of their medication. Any employee who takes narcotics which may impact their ability to perform their job safely is a risk to both themselves and those around them.
In addition physicians must take the necessary steps to ensure patients receiving treatment for chronic pain do not abuse these medications. It is not uncommon for patients to become dependent on pain medication, often taking more than the recommended dose. When this occurs the side affects are even more severe, again increasing the likelihood of an accident.
Employers must be aware of the side effects and be on the lookout for any sign of abuse. If a worker is unable to perform their job safely, steps must be protect co-workers and the public from potential accidents or injuries.
Regardless of the reason behind the prescription of narcotics, all parties must take responsibility for the possible negative consequences resulting from the side affects. With this being said, individuals who suffer from chronic pain should not be restricted from gainful employment if they can manage the use of their medication without jeopardizing the safety of themselves or others in the process.