NSC White Papers Archive

Opioid misuse is having a major impact in the workforce. Preventable opioid overdose deaths increased 41% in 2020 to 64,183, with 25- to 34-year-olds experiencing the most deaths. The following National Safety Council white papers shine a light on prescription pain medications and how they contribute to this problem, and offer recommended actions. All reports are free to download.

Prescription Nation: Facing America's Opioid Epidemic (August 2018)

The opioid crisis continues to take tens of thousands of lives each year. Over 64,000 Americans died of an opioid-related overdose in 2020 – that’s more than 175 lives each day. NSC experts conducted an extensive review of current literature, state legislation and data to create a comprehensive report on the status of the opioid crisis. The Prescription Nation 2018 report gives you a state-by-state comparison of actions taken, failing-lagging-improving grades for each state, descriptions of key actions and how they make a difference, what's working in states that have faced the crisis head on, and case studies, success stories and addiction experts' insights. Download the report.

Prescription Pain Medications: A Fatal Cure for Injured Workers (May 2015)

In 2011, more than 25% of workers’ compensation prescription drug claim costs were for opioid pain medications. Despite the increased use of opioid pain medications to treat injured workers, evidence indicates these drugs do not result in better treatment outcomes. This report covers when opioid-related overdose is compensable in workers' compensation cases and promising workers' compensation practices that can protect your injured workers from potential harm from opioid pain medication use. Download the report.

The Psychological and Physical Side Effects of Pain Medication (February 2015)

By the early 2000s, opioid prescribing in the U.S. had increased to unprecedented levels. Though this increase in prescribing may have been due to multiple reasons, a major cause was the belief medical professionals held that opioids are generally safer than many alternatives, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). This white paper will show that opioid medications are, in fact, very dangerous and should be used only after wise discernment and with great care. Download the report.

Evidence for the Efficacy of Pain Medications (October 2014)

Opioids have been used for thousands of years in the treatment of pain and mental illness. Essentially everyone believes that opioids are powerful pain relievers. However, studies show that taking acetaminophen and ibuprofen together is actually more effective in treating pain. Because of this, it is helpful for medical professionals and patients to understand the history of these opioid medications and the potential benefits of using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) instead. Download the report.

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