New research published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found that moderate and severe workplace injuries can significantly increase the risk of suicide or accidental drug overdose in both male and female workers.
According to the study led by a research team from Boston University School of Public Health, suffering a work-related injury that is severe enough to keep the employee out of work for at least a week nearly triples the combined risk of suicide and overdose deaths among women, and increases the risk by 50 percent among men.
“These findings suggest that work-related injuries contribute to the rapid increase in deaths from both opioids and suicides,” said senior study author Dr. Leslie Boden, professor of environmental health at BUSPH. “Improved pain treatment, better treatment of substance use disorders and treatment of post-injury depression may substantially improve quality of life and reduce mortality from workplace injuries.”
Work Injuries Getting Mental Health Help
For the study, researchers looked at workers’ compensation and mortality data from the National Death Index. They found that men who lost at least a week of work to an on-the-job injury were 72 percent more likely to die from suicide and 29 percent more likely to die from drug-related causes. Women were 92 percent more likely to die from suicide and 193 percent more likely to die from drug-related overdoses.
It would be interesting to also track how employees were compensated for their injuries. Although we don’t have access to that data, it seems likely that individuals who received smaller sums or no payments at all for their injuries likely had a higher rate of suicide or accidental overdose than those who received larger payments relevant to their injury. The same may also be able to be said for the type of medical treatment they received. Those who got compensation to pay for things like physical therapy, rehabilitation services or surgeries may have lower death risk than those who didn’t get approved for these options, or those who simply received painkillers and little management help. We’ll never know until we conduct more studies.
With that being said, we’ve seen just how devastating a workplace injury can be for an individual and a family. That’s why we went into this business in the first place, to get workers the compensation and care they deserve and are entitled to following a workplace injury. We’re with you every step of the way and can help you heal physically, emotionally and mentally in the wake of an on-the-job injury.
We’ve worked with clients who have been candid about their depression or anxiety after an injury and have helped secure them the help they need to regain peace in their life. Don’t become another statistic because you didn’t know where to turn following a workplace accident, let Dean Margolis and the team at Margolis Law Firm help you in every possible way. To set up an appointment or learn about what we can do for you, contact our office today.
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