A growing awareness of the dangers of prescription pain drugs has been gaining momentum for the past few years. It is reflected in the Policy Impact brief and “Vitalsigns” report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in November 2011 and July 2013, respectively. An article by CNN at the end of last year helped the American public better understand why they should be concerned about pain drugs and the MDs who prescribe them.
According to the CDC, “Every day in the United States, 105 people die as a result of drug overdose, and another 6,748 are treated in emergency departments (ED) for the misuse or abuse of drugs.” Most of these are from painkillers.
According to the CNN article, these pain drugs “are useful when used short-term and for extreme pain, but there is no evidence that long-term use is either safe or effective.” The article also notes, “A recent Johns Hopkins study showed that between 2000-2010, opioid prescriptions given after pain-related doctor visits nearly doubled – from 11% to 20% – while identification and treatment of pain stayed the same.”
It is unlikely that the medical community will change its behavior anytime soon, even though the evidence is pointing away from the use of pain drugs. There is an effort to make the overdosing patient the culprit, rather than the drugs themselves. But as public awareness grows, people will have a desire to find their own alternatives.
Your doctor of chiropractic can provide you with more information regarding the profound health risks associated with prescription medication and how chiropractic care – including spinal adjustments, low-impact exercises and nutrition, among other conservative strategies – can not only relieve pain, but also address the underlying factors creating the pain and affecting your life.