Have you, or someone you love, formed an addiction to opioid medication that helps battle chronic pain? If so, there's a great deal of information that shows this method of pain relief has more negative effects on the body and mind. In fact the CDC is continuing to study those that have been on opioids for chronic pain and are finding more negative effects every day.
The CDC has actually started revising their guidelines for prescribing opioids because many patients are overusing and becoming addicted and they are concerned that doctors are over-prescribing.
Patients that are in palliative care, end-of-life care or are in active cancer treatment are not affected by the new guidelines.
The new guidelines came about because many doctors are prescribing too many opioids to patients, causing them to become addicted. There are those patients that are overusing and misusing who become addicted as well. If you know someone suffering from addiction, call Legacy Freedom. We offer affordable alcohol and drug treatment in Asheville NC.
Those that deal with constant, relentless pain have trouble focusing on things that matter most in life. They become consumed with finding a cure for their pain. For some, finding a doctor that can help manage their pain is the first thing that comes to mind. There are many pain management doctors that use opioids to control chronic pain. There is controversy regarding whether or not these types of drugs are more harmful than helpful in most cases.
What are Opioids?
A synthetic or natural chemical that reduces the feelings of pain. The following medications are most commonly prescribed as pain relievers:
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
- Oxymorphone (Opana)
Fighting Chronic Pain With Opioids - Is It Safe?
The CDC has issued new guidelines that help decide whether or not opioids are needed for the type of pain a patient is experiencing.
Below, you'll find facts and statistics that pertain to the use of opioids in chronic pain, according to cdc.org:
- An estimated 20% of patients presenting to physician offices with noncancer pain symptoms or pain-related diagnoses (including acute and chronic pain) receive an opioid prescription.
- From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 people died from overdoses related to opioid pain medication in the United States.
- In the past decade, while the death rates for the top leading causes of death such as heart disease and cancer have decreased substantially, the death rate associated with opioid pain medication has increased markedly.
- Sales of opioid pain medication have increased in parallel with opioid-related overdose deaths.
- The Drug Abuse Warning Network estimated that >420,000 emergency department visits were related to the misuse or abuse of narcotic pain relievers in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available.
- Although clinical criteria have varied over time, opioid use disorder is a problematic pattern of opioid use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.
- This disorder is manifested by specific criteria such as unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control use and use resulting in social problems and a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
- In 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication, enough for every adult in the United States to have a bottle of pills.
- Opioid prescriptions per capita increased 7.3% from 2007 to 2012, with opioid prescribing rates increasing more for family practice, general practice, and internal medicine compared with other specialties.
- Rates of opioid prescriptions vary greatly across states in ways that cannot be explained by the underlying health status of the population, highlighting the lack of consensus among clinicians on how to use opioid pain medication.
As you can see, pain meds are being prescribed at an alarming rate. It's important to take a look at the actual guidelines set forth by the CDC in order to really grasp why these opioids aren't the best option for those suffering from endless pain.
According to cdc.org. "Primary care clinicians report having concerns about opioid pain medication misuse, find managing patients with chronic pain stressful, express concern about patient addiction, and report insufficient training in prescribing opioids. Across specialties, physicians believe that opioid pain medication can be effective in controlling pain, that addiction is a common consequence of prolonged use, and that long-term opioid therapy often is overprescribed for patients with chronic noncancer pain. These attitudes and beliefs, combined with increasing trends in opioid-related overdose, underscore the need for better clinician guidance on opioid prescribing. Clinical practice guidelines focused on prescribing can improve clinician knowledge, change prescribing practices, and ultimately benefit patient health."
If someone you care about has become addicted to pain killers, or other narcotics, Legacy Freedom can help them. Call today and ask about our outpatient programs for alcohol and drug treatment in Asheville NC.
What Should I Do If I've Been Prescribed Opioids for Chronic Pain?
If you are using opioids for chronic pain and are worried that you've become addicted, consider getting a second opinion. Also consider talking with your current doctor about your concerns as well. Be sure to continue taking meds until you know it's safe to stop them.
If you or someone you love has become dependent upon prescription pain relievers, know that help is out there. Drug rehab is the only way to fully recover from an addiction. Our personalized, outpatient therapy programs are tailored to fit the needs of the addict. For more information, contact Legacy Freedom.
There are other options out there for those that suffer from chronic pain. You might be worried that these won't be strong enough, but consulting with a new doctor - one that doesn't treat pain with opioids - should be able to help you get a new regimen going. A few other options include:
- Physical therapy and exercise
- Medications for depression or for seizures
- Interventional therapies (injections)
- Ibuprofen (Advil)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
It's important to never stop taking medication abruptly; especially if what you're taking is habit forming. The repercussions of doing this alone can be dangerous. Legacy Freedom can help you detox. Our trained specialists are on hand to make sure you come off the drugs in a safe and secure way.
We hope this information helps you or someone you love with their opioid addiction. It's hard to face chronic pain, but there are other ways to fight it, without habit forming drugs. Contact Legacy Freedom of Asheville to learn how.
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If you’re suffering from an addiction and need help, consider Legacy Freedom’s alternative therapy options for alcohol and drug treatment in Asheville NC. Our success rate is higher than traditional rehab facilities that require you to stay in-house until the program is complete. We know how hard it is to beat addiction. That’s why we’ve come up with a better, more successful, program that will help. Addiction can leave you feeling sad, lonely, and angry. You are not alone. We can help you get back on track to a healthier, happier life with affordable alcohol and drug treatment in Asheville NC.