Doctors have believed for many years that opioid painkillers, with name brands like Percocet, Vicodin, Hydrocodone, and Oxycontin, were the best treatment for pain. Many doctors do still believe that these medications are the only effective way to completely reduce the symptoms of pain in their patients. As the opioid epidemic has grown and worsened, however, many doctors are becoming convinced otherwise. In the heart of the medical community this has started an Us vs. Them situation.
There are those doctors who think restricting opioid medications for patients is a crime. There are other doctors who believe continuing to prescribe them without first trying other forms of pain relief is the true crime. “…It is what happens after patients leave the E.R. that public health experts believe has contributed to a crisis of addiction in the United states” writes The New York Times in an article look at emergency room doctors who are practicing ranges of pain management treatments before turning to opioids. “At discharge, patients are often given opioid prescriptions.
Since the medication has kept their pain at bay, they seek refills from their primary doctors.” Emergency rooms have been accused to be the starting point of opioid addiction.
Opiods Should Only be Used in Emergencies
The article cites that emergency physicians are responsible for writing less than 5 percent of opioid prescriptions. Opioids are an emergency medication as they quickly numb out all pain. As the article explains, “Pain is the chief reason nearly 75% of patients seek emergency treatment.” However, once patients leave the emergency room, the emergency is over. The new emergency begins when opioid addiction persists. Most addictions which start with opioid painkillers progress to heroin.
Along the way, their brains’ ability to withstand pain weakens, lowering their pain threshold and heightening their sensitivity to pain. As a result, the brain is always in an emergency of pain, always necessitating the use of the doctor prescribed opioids.
Quoting one emergency room doctor turning to alternative methods, the article explains that because patients turn to doctors, and doctors turn to opioids, patients believe that the opioids are the best treatment for their pain- otherwise their doctor would be utilizing other methods.
Alternative Methods Are Effective
Other methods are proving to work. Non-narcotic injections, energetic healing, the use of laughing gas, lifestyle changes, and simple pain adjustments are helping thousands of patients without the use of opioids. Opioid addicts in recovery are proof that opioids are not the only way to treat pain. Physical, emotional, spiritual, pain is overcome everyday through abstinence.
If you are struggling with opioid addiction there is help. Lakehouse Recovery Center offers residential detox and inpatient programs for healing opioid addiction and creating a life of recovery. For more information, call us today at (877) 762-3707.