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Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
FRBSF Economic Letter
Do Opioids Slow Return to Work after Injuries?
David Neumark
Bogdan Savych
Abstract

Some reports blame opioid use for part of the decline in labor force participation among adult men. Estimates based on workers’ compensation data shed light on the relationship between opioid prescriptions and the return to work among people who suffer work-related low-back injuries, for which opioid use is common. Differences in opioid prescribing patterns across locations demonstrate how various use of these medications can impact how quickly workers return to work. When opioids are prescribed for longer-term treatment, workers have considerably longer durations of temporary disability following an injury.


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David Neumark & Bogdan Savych, "Do Opioids Slow Return to Work after Injuries?" , Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, FRBSF Economic Letter, number 28, 2018.
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