The Opioid Crisis — A Case of Mass Homicide?

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The inappropriate treatment approach to back pain and post-surgical pain from tonsillectomies and wisdom teeth removal are driving forces behind the opioid epidemic
  • Insurance claims data reveal 60% of children between the ages of 1 and 18 with private insurance fill one or more opioid prescriptions after surgical tonsil removal. Dentists wrote 18.1 million prescriptions for opioids in 2017
  • Research shows opioids (including morphine, Vicodin, oxycodone and fentanyl) fail to control moderate to severe pain any better than over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen
  • The American College of Physicians’ guideline for low back pain call for the use of heat, massage, acupuncture or chiropractic adjustments as first-line treatments. When drugs are desired, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants should be used
  • While clinical practice guidelines call for nonpharmacological intervention for back pain, most insurance plans avoid paying for such treatments, favoring opioid treatment instead

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A Nation Running from Pain: What Can Be Done About It

heroinStory at-a-glance −

Lethal heroin overdoses nearly quadrupled between 2000 and 2013 in the US, escalating from 0.7 to 2.7 deaths per 100,000

This trend is fueled by growing addiction to prescription pain relievers like Vicodin, Continue reading

Is the Medicinal Herb Kratom Safe, Effective and an Alternative for Treating Pain, Anxiety and Depression?

Mitragyna speciosa, also known as “kratom,” is a plant native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia that has long been used in traditional herbal medicine to treat pain, boost energy, alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms, and promote feelings of wellness and happiness. But because Continue reading

Read This Before You Take That Arthritis Drug

opiodOpioids have been around a long time. The opium poppy has been used for its therapeutic benefits almost as long as humans have been around. Opioids have one special ability: to block pain. They do this by decreasing both the perception of, and our reaction to, pain. Opioids also have the ability to increase pain tolerance.

As many as four million Americans may be taking opioids regularly to manage their pain. Most of these people are suffering from either low back pain or arthritis. Drugs like “Vicodin,” tramadol and “Darvocet” all purport to help ease Continue reading

Prescription Drugs Responsible for more Deaths than Traffic Accidents, Study Finds

Every 14 minutes, a person is killed by prescription drugs — and unlike most other causes of preventable death, which have been on the decline for years, medication-induced deaths are on the upswing across the US. According to a recent analysis conducted by the Los Angeles Times (LA Times), drug-induced deaths have become so prevalent that their average yearly total now exceeds the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents.

It is truly a sad day in the world when the very medications prescribed for treating disease are one of the leading causes of death, including among young children. And based on data retrieved by the LA Times, the number of drug fatalities has doubled within the past ten years, as legal drugs Continue reading