Between the years 1991 and 2011, there was a 300% increase in overdoses from opiates, with the greater proportion due to prescription painkillers. The number of prescriptions for opiates (such as morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone) increased from 76 million to 219 million in the same time frame. Arguably, the current way of relieving pain in American just isn’t working. Chronic pain exists. Whether from trauma, disease of genetic mischance, many Americans suffer physically and emotionally from pain. However, relieving pain in America by focusing primarily on prescription painkillers has compromised the do no harm rule of the medical community.
Overcorrection & Finding a Better Way
No physician intends to create a patient’s dependence on drugs, let alone an addiction. According to the National Institutes of Health, most medical professionals are not as informed or proficient in managing chronic pain. This is the root of the chronic pain management problem. An undeserved stigma surrounds those with chronic pain. Writing a prescription is just a cork in the genie bottle for people who struggled with pain. For many, their brains at some point reply “pain schmain, just keep stimulating my receptors, or I’ll hurt you even more”. Relieving pain in American isn’t just about prescribing a pill and hoping for the best. It requires a whole team, with the person experiencing the pain at the center of that team. Multiple treatments need to be considered. Prescription painkillers should never be the central or sole treatment option. It may never be possible to get rid of the pain 100% of the time, and most patients living with daily pain will tell you that. What they are seeking is to have a level of pain that they can tolerate and still go to work, enjoy family, pursue activities they love, and help others when they can. In short, enjoy optimal wellness and a productive life. Mental, physical and spiritual therapy and treatment—holistic care—relieving pain in American needs to begin within this framework. Have you ever experienced the stigma of having chronic pain? Share your stories here. How best can the medical community help those with chronic pain issues? Las Vegas Recovery Center wants to hear what you have to say. Add your thoughts and comments below and follow us on Facebook!