For patients who want to undergo therapy without the use of opiates, doctors and researchers are working on it as of the moment.
One of the more challenging aspects of medicine today is pain management. There are patients that experience acute or chronic pain and the doctors have to face most complex considerations that could range from pain’s subjectivity to legal issues that surround narcotic prescriptions, addiction and overdose. Many narcotic pain medications like opiates i.e. Percocet, Oxyxontin and Vicodin carry a huge risk. According to Drug Abuse National Institute, opioid addiction and death by overdose increased to an astounding four hundred percent for the last fifteen years.
According to the chief medical officer of Townsend Addiction – Treatment Center, Dr. Howard Wetsman, People got reintroduced in this decade to opiates due to medicine and therapy or pain treatment. He stressed that opiates are not a good pain medicine as it causes the patient to get attached to it.
Wetsman have been a part of a vocal critic group standing up against the use of opiates as a treatment for pain. He said hospitals aren’t good at handling this particular issue and that the patients he has worked with have become very dependent on the narcotic pain medication which made him conclude that the established hospital standards of care are not designed in preventing patients from the addiction risk.
There are evidences that prove that the care standard has become: Once somebody is operated, the doctors give them narcotics for the pain and if the doctor doesn’t do so, they are not using the standard. Generally, doctors are relying on standards in order to ensure the conformity of care to which physicians adhere to. However, the standardized use of narcotic pain medications interfere case-by-case calls of judgment. As soon as opiate prescriptions are being encouraged in certain procedures, most doctors would be reluctant in relying on non-narcotic medicines like acetaminophen or other therapies such as massage or acupuncture.
In a long-term perspective, narcotic medications interfere with a patient’s ability in staving off pain. What actually happens with the prolonged use of these pain meds is that the body ceases in making endorphins which would eventually lead for the pain threshold to decrease, meaning even the slightest pain would be very excruciating to the patient.
Opiates, according to Dr. Richard Mestayer, are only effective if used short-term for about six weeks or even less. He advises against the use of narcotics to chronic pain issues as well as to those who are predisposed to addiction. Mestayer says that it is not always really possible to know these factors prior the addiction.
There could be a lot of reasons why people get addicted to it, said Mestayer. Maybe you have had an injury and you got on pain meds and for some reason may it be genetic or otherwise, it caused for a perfect storm to occur. Just by a year or two you have been taking a lot which by then your doctors are already having cold sweats and now you start taking the cheaper alternatives like heroin.