There is no doubt that the opioid epidemic is one of the biggest problems that the modern society has faced in recent times. Almost every leader has been calling for increased awareness as well as treatment for the addicted. Almost everyone has their own suggestions about the best ways to deal with the epidemic. However, what is obvious is that no matter how much is done, there might be no progress if the core issues are not addressed. Going back in time, everyone can note that the crisis results from prescribed painkillers. That is the issue that should be tackled. It is important to address how pain is treated.
A Limited Long-Term Efficacy
America spends over 600 billion on chronic pain. It has been revealed that this is a problem that affects more people than cancer or many other diseases. The long-known solution for treating pain has always been opioids. What many people might not know is that even though this narcotic costs relatively less amounts of money compared to other drugs, it has limited efficacy especially when you think about the long-term effects. Its ability to fuel addictions among the users has been one of the biggest shortcomings because it eventually leads to abuse.
Adoption Of A Different Strategy
In as much as everyone agrees that the opioid epidemic can be reversed, the truth is that this can only be done of a different strategy is adopted. One of the reasons why America might always be paying the catch up style is because of the reliance on greater treatment for those that are addicted. There is need for the adoption of strategies that are interventional. Before anyone turns to prescription painkillers, they should have implored other alternatives that can easily make them avoid getting to that level. Increased education for physicians and everyone involved in the treatment of pain is also needed.
Education For Primary Care Doctors
If there is anything good to come out of education, it has to start with primary care doctors. These are the people that prescribe about half of the opiates that are administered to patients across the country. Since they lack the formal expertise as well as the background understanding of the drug, they might not even notice it when they start fueling addiction among their patients. For instance, there have been many situations where the lack a proper action plan that might reduce the need for opioid medications. The approach must change now that the number of Americans suffering from chronic pain has surpassed the 100 million mark.
Recent research has shown that there are various intervention therapies that [physicians can use to control chronic pain. They should avoid the tendency to rush to opioid medications even when they can use many other alternatives. Unfortunately, that is what is going on and unless it changes, it will not be easy to fight this epidemic that threatens to take even more lives. It is true that opiates are effective in treating pain. However, they should not be the primary solution because the effects are devastating.