Impact of the combined use of benzodiazepines and opioids on workers' compensation claim cost

Robert A. Lavin, Xuguang Tao, Larry Yuspeh, Edward J. Bernacki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: Study the use patterns and claim cost impact of prescription opioids and benzodiazepines in workers' compensation. Methods: A cohort of 11,394 lost time claims filed with the LouisianaWorkers' Compensation Corporation from 1999 to 2002 was observed for 7 years post injuries. Results: We found that benzodiazepines are almost always prescribed in combination with opioids. The odds ratios of benzodiazepines used alone, with shortacting opioids and with long-acting opioids for claims ≥$100,000, were 2.74, 4.69, and 14.24, respectively (after controlling for gender, low back pain, marital status, attorney involvement, and each other). Average benzodiazepine daily dose increased to year 3 postinjury and plateaued thereafter, whereas the average opioid dose escalated each year postinjury. Conclusions: The addition of benzodiazepines to an opioid treatment regimen significantly increases workers' compensation costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-978
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Benzodiazepines
  • Opioids
  • Workers' compensation claimants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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