Opiate related drug addiction and dependency continues to rise and poses a significant threat to our citizens and to our healthcare system. Too often these pain killers are routinely prescribed to address chronic pain which precipitates the inevitable drug dependency that follows. Prescribing doctors and pharmacists will verbally reiterate to take the medication only as prescribed, but a true safety net to assure that dependency and addiction don’t follow suit has yet to be properly implemented.Opioid medication is used for pain relief, the majority of which is associated musculoskeletal pain. The holistic approach to treatment at Graham Rehabilitation and Wellness reiterates that opiate based prescription pain killers do not provide treatment to the underlying cause of the condition. Rather, these medications simply treat the symptoms of the condition. Utilization of musculoskeletal services such as chiropractic, physical therapy, and massage is associated with reduced intake of prescription pain medications. While taking a pill to alleviate pain is a simple ‘solution’, it does not involve the process of functional healing necessary for positive long term outcomes.
A recent article on CNN shed some light on this alarming prescription trend. Below are some key points from the article.
- Despite prescription drug overdoses reaching epidemic proportions over the decade, 2014 statistics demonstrate an all-time high in the number of deaths caused by prescription drugs.
- Since 2000, opioid drug overdose deaths have increased 200%.
- Nearly half a million lives have been lost to opioid drug overdoses over the last 14 years.
- Opioids are involved in 61% of all drug overdose deaths.
- Every 19 minutes someone dies from an accidental prescription drug overdose!