Treating pain is a crucial part of medicine, but it also requires a delicate balance against the risks of patient addiction. The most commonly used medications for relieving moderate, severe, and chronic pain are opioids, and these are highly addictive. Millions of people have fallen victim to one or more of these drugs, and it is not only the pain patient at risk. Friends and family members with access to a patient’s pain medications may abuse them or sell them to others. Find your balance between pain management and addiction. The first step of balancing pain management and addiction is attending a drug detox center in PA. Once the body is free of toxins, healthier means of chronic pain management are introduced.
The Problem of Prescription Painkiller Abuse
Opioid painkiller abuse, addiction, and overdose have been growing problems over the last two decades. From 2001 to 2014, overdoses involving prescription painkillers tripled. More people are addicted to painkillers than any other drug. In 2015, 2 million Americans had a painkiller substance abuse disorder, while 591,000 had a heroin substance abuse disorder. While so many people are abusing, getting hooked on and even dying because of these drugs, there are millions of others who genuinely need them to relieve serious pain. Living with chronic and serious pain is not acceptable for anyone, but neither is living with pain management and addiction. The challenge for lawmakers, physicians, and advocacy groups is to strike a balance between legitimate painkiller use and pain management. If you or a loved one needs pain management but has fallen into heroin substance abuse, reach out to the heroin addiction treatment center in PA.
Pain Management and Addiction Prevention
With the opioid epidemic in America, people from all sides of pain management are working toward preventing addiction. What does the process of pain management and addiction prevention look like?
The Role of Prescribers
Many have put the blame for the epidemic of painkiller abuse on the shoulders of prescribing physicians. No one group is solely to blame, but doctors have been known to overprescribe opioids, often giving them to patients who don’t truly need them. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has made opioid abuse and addiction its number one priority, has encouraged education among physicians as to how and when to appropriately prescribe opioid painkillers. Manufacturers of these drugs are now required to provide training for doctors to help them prescribe more appropriately and monitor patients using painkillers.
The Role of Drug Makers
The FDA has attempted to make painkillers safer by regulating the way in which drug manufacturers make, label and sell their products. One product that has contributed greatly to opioid addiction is the extended-release pill. This is a formulation that allows a patient with chronic pain to take one pill a day and get round-the-clock relief in small doses. Abusers quickly learned to crush the pill in order to get a higher dose all at once. The FDA now requires that these types of pills include strongly worded labels warning about the risks of overdose and addiction if misused.
The Role of Law Makers
Legislators and policymakers also need to play a role in curbing the trend in opioid abuse and addiction. Experts recommend that states set up databases to track patients receiving prescriptions for opioid painkillers, for instance. These would prevent the type of doctor shopping that people have engaged in to get multiple prescriptions. Policymakers, including the FDA, can also control factors such as how drug manufacturers make their drugs. For example, they can require that all extended-release formulas include abuse preventatives. The balance between managing pain for millions of Americans and preventing abuse and addiction is a delicate one. Many people are involved in this issue and it requires the efforts of all to make sure that patients are treated appropriately while addiction and overdoses are minimized. It is important to also remember that patients have a role to play. When pain patients are better educated about the risks of using opioids, even more instances of abuse could be avoided.
Substance Abuse Treatment
When chronic pain management and addiction occurs, The Ranch provides support. Specialized painkiller addiction treatment programs treat any form of opioid or opiates. Find chronic pain management and addiction relief with the following programs:
- Inpatient drug rehab
- Outpatient drug rehab in PA
- Family recovery program
- Addiction therapy programs in TN
- Dual diagnosis treatment program in PA