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Prescription drug abuse rates are rapidly increasing in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. makes up only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it is responsible for the consumption of 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. Abuse of prescription drugs occurs who the drug is taken in a manner other than its intended purpose such as to get high.

Prescription drug abuse can take over someone's life if help isn't found. It doesn’t have to be this way though. For those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse and addiction, help is only a phone call away.

04-05 Sports medicine physicians ready to play a pivotal role against opioid crisis

Posted in Opioid addiction, Opioids, Prescription drug abuse by Rachael - 0 Comments
Sports medicine physicians ready to play a pivotal role against opioid crisis

Overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have skyrocketed in the past decade. Over 115 Americans succumb to opioid overdoses on a daily basis. The misuse of opioids, including prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl, is a serious national crisis that affects public health and socioeconomic welfare of the common masses.

In 2017, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency as called upon by the President Donald Trump and announced a five-point strategy to combat the opioid crisis responsible for causing shocking consequences, such as overdose deaths, newborns with withdrawal syndrome due to opioid abuse by mothers during pregnancy, etc.

As the opioid crisis in America gains national attention, the question related to the access to viable alternatives to manage pain has also emerged. Owing to the growing opioid epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released opioid prescription guidelines created on the basis of the review of scientific evidences in Mar. 2016. This guideline provides recommendations for the prescription of opioids by primary care clinicians for chronic pain (i.e., pain conditions that typically last >3 months or past the time of normal tissue healing) in outpatient settings outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care and end-of-life care.

The CDC recommends the appropriate use of opioids along with other pain management strategies, such as nonopioid pain medications and nonpharmacologic treatments. Along the same lines, a new study tried to understand the ways by which sports medicine physicians can reduce the misuse of prescribed opioids for musculoskeletal injuries.

Physical therapy as an alternative to opioids for pain management

With a proven track record of combatting aches, pains and discomfort, physical therapy is becoming a viable, non-medicated solution for alleviating physical and mental agony. In the article  titled “Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution: Sports Medicine Takes on the Opioid Epidemic, published in American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, looked at how sports medicine physicians can help lessen the misuse of prescribed opioids. The study was coauthored by Elizabeth Joy, MD, Intermountain Healthcare’s Medical Director of Community Health, Health Promotion and Wellness, and Food & Nutrition, and sports medicine physician Scott Meier, MD, Kaiser-Permanente.

The researchers found that alternative therapies like cryotherapy (a pain treatment using the method of localized freezing temperatures to deaden an irritated nerve), heat and acupuncture can be the first steps in addressing musculoskeletal pain and injuries. Compared to opioids, they found that such therapies inflict lesser side effects and are inexpensive. Therefore, sports medicine physicians can effectively address opioid crisis by adopting alternative therapies and resorting to fewer opioid medications.

Try alternative therapies to address chronic pain

A recent study sheds light on a pain management strategy, based on cell-engineering principles and synthetic biology, consisting of microencapsulated human designer cells that reduces pain  in a far effective way than opioids responsible for causing drug tolerance and addiction. Several forms of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) have been revealed to be effective in ensuring pain management and improving the quality of life. Psychotherapy may also play an important role in patients who have depression, pre-existing pain or acute pain.

Patients who are in pain deserve empathy, understanding, time and attention. For those struggling with prescription drug abuse and addiction, help is only a phone call away. If you know someone who is suffering from prescription drug abuse or addiction, contact the representatives at the Colorado Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline  to find the finest treatment programs at the best prescription drug treatment in Colorado. Get in touch with our counselors by calling at our 24/7 prescription abuse helpline 866-922-5915 or chat online to connect with the best treatment facility.