By: Jarvis B. Läkemäker


A recent study found that a patient’s demographics and type of employment may correlate to the amount of opioids they are prescribed. In its study, Correlates of Opioid Dispensing, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) identified characteristics of injured workers and their employers that are associated with differences in opioid dispensing rates. Data consisted of analysis of 1.4 million pain medication prescriptions in 27 states, including Georgia. Areas of study included worker age and gender, injury type, industry, and location (including county-level opioid dispensing rate).

The study found that injured workers in certain industries like mining and construction are more likely to receive opioids. Further, the data reflected that workers in rural or very rural areas were likely to be prescribed opiates 14% more often than workers in urban settings. Also, old workers were more likely to be prescribed opioids than younger workers. Paired with existing efforts underway in Georgia to address opioid prescription rates, this information can be useful in setting priorities for targeting special interventions and alternative pain management initiatives in the groups most vulnerable to opioid over prescription.