Opioids Have Ample Evidence of Addiction Risk
Even when take as directed, the opioid medications have “ample evidence of dose-dependent risk.” This is according to an addiction expert speaking at American College of Physicians Internal Medicine conference in 2015. This is a huge concern for doctors who treat patients with pain.
Pain is the major reason for presentation to a medical doctor. Think about it, how many people present to the doctor saying, “I am developing venous stagnation near my lumbar plexus due to my obesity and sedentary lifestyle. It doesn’t hurt yet, but I know I am a prime risk for sciatica. What can I do to reduce my risk?” I think most people would simply wait until their condition progressed to a point where the sciatica interfered with their life and was causing pain.
When a patient presents to the medical doctor for treatment of sciatica or similar mechanical lower back pain, the doctor will often prescribe pain medications, muscle relaxers, and provide recommendations for physical therapy. Those pain medications can be very risky.
“In fact, 80% of current heroin users switched to heroin when prescription opioids became too expensive or too difficult to procure”, said Molly Feely, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
“For 80% of current heroin users, prescription opioids were the gateway drug,” she continued. It is a sad state when patients get hooked on pain pills and then turn to heroin. Many of the pain pills and heroin have near-identical actions in the body. The chemical structure is very similar.
Opioid medications should be the treatment option of last result, not the go-to drug of choice for treating pain.
The safest option would be to send patients with acute and chronic pain to a doctor of chiropractic first. Chiropractic physicians are specifically trained to manage the causes of acute and chronic pain. Chiropractic physicians can help the patient manage his pain instead of exposing the patient to the high-risk and dangerous drugs.
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