By Elizabeth Shimer Bowers
As first seen on EverydayHealth.com.
For managing chronic pain, opioid drugs may not be the answer. Here are ways to find relief without relying on a prescription.
Doctors prescribe more painkillers today than they ever have — writing three times as many prescriptions for opioids as they did 20 years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Chronic pain is a significant problem affecting more than 100 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This puts doctors who treat pain in a tough spot. Opioids come with major side effects, including mental clouding, nausea, and the potential for respiratory depression, which can cause death. There is also a risk of developing a physical dependence on them.
To examine this issue, a group of panelists met in September 2014 at an NIH Pathways to Prevention workshop. They found that most studies on opioid painkillers for chronic pain were too short — some less than six weeks — and that there was evidence of increased risk for overdose and abuse. Continue reading>>Print this page