Back injuries are the most common type of work injury and workers' compensation claim. As a byproduct of rehabbing, workers suffering from back injuries or chronic back pain are especially at risk of becoming addicted to opioid painkillers. Relief from the physical pain gives way to other types of suffering - the addiction itself and the personal aftermath such as depression, job loss, financial troubles, professional license sanctions, criminal charges and divorce.
This story by Michael Grabell of ProPublica and Howard Berkes of NPR should concern us all.
One fallacy that is usually perpetuated by some employers is that an injured employee MUST go to the doctor or clinic that their employer chooses. This is not true.