Estimates suggest that about 100 million Americans grapple with chronic pain in their daily lives, leading to dependence on prescription opioids. Studies conducted by several national health agencies have found that lower back pain is the most common neurological ailment in the United States, followed by severe headaches or a migraine, neck pain and facial ache.
Statistics show that today, in America, an alarming six out of 10 drug overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people lost their lives due to drug overdoses. In fact, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, shows the CDC data.
Experts in the medical community believe that a customized, multi-disciplinary approach is needed for an effective long-term solution. Moreover, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), there is insufficient data to support pain management via long-term use of opioids. This situation, thus, presents possibilities to explore alternative treatment options for pain such as by physical therapy and complementary medicine.
Study finds real-world massage effective in treating pain
A new study published in March 2017, in the journal Pain Medicine, has found that real-world massage may be the best way to deal with chronic lower back pain. Niki Munk, professor at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and one of the co-first authors of the study, said that more than 50 percent of American adults with lower back pain who participated in the study experienced clinically meaningful pain relief.
Patients were referred by a doctor to a massage therapist, who provided customized 10 massages, free of cost, in a clinical treatment environment that mimicked the experiences of people who chose to opt for massage therapy in the real world. The study revealed that baby boomers and older generations were more inclined to experience clinical relief from pain. Researchers also observed considerable improvements in obese patients, though they couldn’t retain the changes over a period of time.
According to the study, in some cases, even patients who were on opioids experienced improvements in their condition. However, they were twice less likely to experience the same level of clinical relief from pain, compared to their counterparts who were not on opioids. According to the authors, though the findings are quite promising, the fact remains that chronic lower back pain is a complex matter and massage therapy shouldn’t be considered as a quick fix. Rather it should be treated as a long-term maintenance option to avail maximum benefits.
Opioid addiction widespread in society
Abuse of prescription medicines to relieve pain is the underlying cause of this nationwide epidemic of opioid addiction. According to the CDC, doctors writing millions of prescriptions for opioid painkillers has been a major factor fueling the epidemic ravaging the nation. Popping pills have become a daily ritual for most Americans. What is posing to be an even more worrisome trend is that 20 percent of children in the U.S. are now pharmaceutical drug users. In 2015 alone, more than 15,000 Americans succumbed to overdoses involving prescription opioids. The CDC statistics show that since 2003, there has been a steady spike in the number of prescription drug abuse-related deaths. Painkillers have claimed more lives than heroin and cocaine combined.
One of the reasons why most Americans are unaware of the dangers of prescription drugs is an inherent misapprehension about the drug testing and approval procedures. Many falsely believe that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has a rigorous testing and evaluation mechanism in place. This is actually far from the truth as the current system shrugs the entire onus of clinical trials and safety testing of a new drug on the pharmaceutical company, which develops the drug. The other reasons for the widely rampant prescription opioid use disorder are:
- Easy availability: All one needs is a valid medical prescription to legally procure prescription drugs. This could lead to potential abuse if a patient decides to exceed the prescribed doses or go on a doctor-shopping spree.
- Abuse leads to addiction: Many are unaware that prescription drugs such as opioids are basically pharmaceutical-grade heroin legally produced in a laboratory. They are undoubtedly as addictive as their counterparts being sold on the streets.
- Internet is a great market: Typing “no prescription online pharmacy” can throw up a plethora of websites where anyone can purchase any kind of prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription.
- Online purchases could be fake: It is highly possible that prescription medicine purchased online might be counterfeit or composed of toxic ingredients, which could be lethal.
- People think they’re safe: Most people place blind faith in their doctor and continue to exceed their prescribed doses. This builds tolerance in them leading to substance abuse and addiction.
- Prescription drugs are sedative: Sedation is the common outcome of drug use, and it could temporarily impair a person’s senses leaving him vulnerable to accidents.
- Risk of mixing drugs is high: Those addicted to prescription drugs often tend to mix them with alcohol or other drugs, resulting in a lethal combination.
Don’t live with opioid addiction, seek help
More and more people are falling prey to prescription opioid addiction these days. For them, it is important to know that opioid abuse can be treated with timely medical intervention. Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who is unable to discontinue the use of harmful substances such as opioids. Our customized substance use disorder programs are tailored to individual needs in order to treat the person holistically. Sovereign Health of San Clemente’s pain program is designed to assist those individuals whose pain has led to an addiction of either prescription and/or illegal drugs.
If you or your loved one is battling addiction to any prescription drug, get in touch with Sovereign Health to gain access to the latest and innovative treatment methods at our state-of-the-art drug addiction treatment centers spread across the U.S. Whether you are looking for substance abuse treatment centers in California or at a place closer home, call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 819-0427 or chat online to know about the most effective recovery programs at our reliable behavioral health treatment centers in California.