Treating Pain While Avoiding Addiction—How Can We Help Pain Patients and Also Reduce Opioid Consumption?
An article in the Washington Post from early April 2019 focuses on Kirsten Gillibrand, a Senator from New York and a possible contender for the presidential candidacy in 2020. The article discusses Gillibrand’s efforts to curb the opioid crisis and the criticism she has received in doing so.
Let’s take a moment, let’s gird our loins, and let’s talk about something that many of us probably don’t even want to think about, much less discuss.
Apparently, it’s ridiculously easy to launch an epidemic to any drug you choose. And it will work with not just ONE drug, but ONE DRUG AFTER ANOTHER. Addiction to many drugs can be instigated in a heartbreaking series though use of this one simple tactic .
It is no mystery to anyone that the use and abuse of painkiller drugs, for self-medicative or recreational reasons, is an extremely unhealthy choice. This is no mystery to us.
Americans’ problems with pain meds go back a century or more for medicinal purposes as well as recreational. The primary ingredient in the substances comes from the poppy plant which has been around for thousands of years. The active ingredient in painkillers is the drug Morphine.
The nation’s fastest-growing drug problem isn’t the abuse of cocaine or methamphetamine. Heroin is also not the number one concern. The issue of prescription painkiller abuse is the number one drug problem gaining national attention at this moment.
The problem has been brewing for years. Sales of painkillers began to make an unusual climb in 2000 and by 2010, had reached levels far beyond anything reasonable. Certainly, painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin help people after serious injuries.