Are Opioid Painkillers Really Necessary for Pain Management?

Are Opioid Painkillers Really Necessary for Pain Management?

There have been a number of exposes written in the last year or two which have blown the lid off of the opioid industry. A rich family, a rich opportunity, a rich marketing scheme designed to mislead doctors, hide facts, and keep patients pumped on opioids, led to a ten year increase in addiction. In 2015 nearly 50,000 people lost their life to opioid overdose. Opioid overdose surpassed gun deaths and car deaths, becoming a leading cause of death for adults under the age of 50. In 2016, the number went up to more than 60,000 people who lost their life to opioid overdose. Anecdotal stories have revealed that thousands of those who lost their lives were not addicts or drug abusers. They were “normal” people who suffered an injury and were prescribed an opioid painkiller. More American have died as a result of the opioid epidemic than American soldiers died through the entirety of the Vietnam War which lasted for many years.

We have a crisis on our hands when it comes to opioids. Whether it is a synthetic opioid like Fentanyl, a prescription opioid like OxyContin, or heroin found on the street, people are becoming addicted and dying due to overdose. Yet, doctors continue to prescribe the medications. The medical industry has been in a debate about whether or not opioids should continue to be a relevant form of treatment. Many hospitals, emergency rooms, and doctors have started to turn away from opioids as a form of treatment. Numerous research studies have indicated that cognitive behavioral therapy, holistic health treatment, and mindfulness meditation can all effectively reduce pain without the use of opioids. Still, there is a population of chronic pain patients who feel victimized by the nationwide fight against opioids. A new study published in  JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association sets a new set of facts down for the debate. Healthline writes, “Opioid pain relievers demonstrated no advantages over non-opioid medications for treating chronic back and arthritis pain over a one-year period, but they did lead to more side effects.”

Authors of the study emphasized that most randomized controlled trials about opioid use for pain management have been short term. This is one of the first long term studies and the finding that opioids are not effective long term is significant. Half of the participants were treated with opioids while the other half was treated with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or a “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug”. Both groups compared about equal when it came to pain-related functioning and pain intensity. Only the group taking opioids experienced a wellspring of adverse side effects.

Recovery for men needs to be mind, body, and spirit. At Tree House Recovery we are building men from the ground up with sustainable changes to create a sustainable recovery. Call us today for information on our treatment programs and how we can help you find freedom from addiction:  (855) 202-2138

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