United States Issue With Pain Killers

October 12, 2022 0 Comment

United States Issue With Pain Killers

It is no secret that the United States is currently in the midst of an opioid crisis. Every day, more and more people are becoming addicted to these powerful pain medications. One contributing factor to this problem is the way that chronic pain is treated by the medical community. Far too often, doctors simply prescribe opioids to their patients without exploring other options. This needs to change. Patients should be made aware of all their treatment options, including physical therapy and other pain management techniques. Only then can they make an informed decision about which course of treatment is right for them. 

Opioids for pain, pain management

CDC’s New Guidelines On Opioids

New guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) avoids putting strict limits found in 2016 versions of these guidelines limiting pain management patients’ access to pain medication. The 2016 guidance accelerated a nationwide drop in opioid prescriptions but led to backlash from chronic patient groups who said it robbed them of essential medication needed just like any other condition.  There’s been pushback against overusing prescription opioids because some people can become hooked on them or develop forms such as addiction disorder.

The new guidance from the CDC limits new opioid prescriptions and encourages physicians to discuss alternative therapies with patients. Unfortunately, the new guidance largely avoids notations on dosage, and length of prescription, and warns against abruptly discontinuing pain pills for some chronic pain patients.

Increasing Demand For Physical Therapy

As an advocate for physical therapy, this is great news for patients who don’t always get all their options for rehabilitation. Physicians need to fully educate their patients on all options so they can make better sound decisions. As pharmaceuticals push medications to doctors for usage, patient tends to have less education about their options. 

After the 2016 guidelines were released, more than half of states passed laws that limited initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain to seven days or less. Some states enacted strict limits on doses, prompting doctors to aggressively taper patients who had been on opioids for years, and medical boards sanctioned doctors who ran afoul of the tighter requirements.

The survey of 3,000 people found that 84% reported more pain and worse quality of life.42% said they had considered suicide as a solution. Survey results like these are the reasons we must change the guidances for opioid subscriptions.

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