Prescription Painkiller Abuse
During National Chiropractic Health Month, we’re taking a look at the public health crisis caused by pain, and in particular the overuse of prescription painkillers. Prescription drug abuse is the number one cause of death in 17 U.S. states, surpassing motor vehicle accidents.
Numerous recent studies have shown the dangerous over reliance in the United States on prescription painkillers. Did you know that although Americans only make up 4.5% of the world’s population, they consume 80% of the world’s opioid supply? That means of all of the prescription painkillers in the world; Americans consume 80% of them! Over the last 20 years, there has been a 10-fold increase in the use of prescription painkillers. The United States is experiencing a national crisis – painkiller dependency, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared an “epidemic.”
During 2013 alone, drug overdoses accounted for almost 44,000 deaths in the United States, an increase of 6% from 2012. So what’s going on? Why does the United States have such a problem with prescription painkillers?
Well, for one, it’s never been easier to get a prescription for drugs. Studies have shown that 48% of Americans have used at least one prescription drug in the last 30 days. Even more shocking – 1 in 10 Americans admit to having used at least 5 prescription drugs in the last 30 days. This can multiply the risk for drug-related health issues exponentially.
“We know that the number of adverse drug events a patient is likely to experience increases as the number of medications they are taking increases,” says Anne Burns, Senior Vice President for Professional affairs at the American Pharmacists Association. “You’ve got everything from potential interactions between medications to timing issues, taking a variety of medications throughout the day.”
This shows that not only are many Americans using prescription drugs, but also they’re overusing them in dangerous combinations.
Another reason that painkillers are so readily available for many people is the lack of attention by many medical professionals. Although this prescription drug problem exists, many Doctors are still willing to give patients prescriptions, even if they aren’t necessary. A common trend that exists among opiate drug users is that they will experience an injury or an accident that will require prescription painkillers. But, rather than using painkillers as a temporary way to manage the pain, they become dependent on them. The fact is – most painkillers have very addictive properties.
Pain Treatment without Medications
Although there may be times that a prescription drug may be needed, painkillers do not treat the condition, they only mask the pain. So, with approximately 10 million Americans suffer with chronic, persistent or disabling pain, what’s the solution? Many conditions, such as chronic back pain, neck pain, knee pain, and neuropathy, can be treated without drugs and the side effects of taking prescription painkillers.
At the Davis Clinic of Chiropractic in The Villages, Florida, we provide an alternative to drugs and invasive procedures. Our treatment for chronic pain conditions doesn’t mask the pain, it treats it. We have helped thousands of patients find relief from back pain, neck pain, knee pain and the numbness and debilitating symptoms of neuropathy, and we can help you relieve your chronic pain once and for all.
Break the cycle of addictive, harmful medications. Give us a call today at (352) 430-2121 to see how we can help you lead a pain free life!