5 thoughts on “9 Things We Must Do Now to Stop the Opioid Epidemic

  • May 24, 2017 at 9:52 am

    I am really sick of hearing about the opioid epidemic. Alcohol kills 3 times as many people each year, not including car accidents and yet no one has declared war against it. Plus, passing more laws again drug use only fills up the prisons. I think that people should be punished for the harm they do to others not what they put in their bodies. Are people dying from this type of abuse/ Certainly, but with all illegal substances, if someone really wants to get them they will find a way. This hysterical focus on prescription drugs has only caused doctors to get out of pain management entirely or under medicate their chronic pain patients. Not everyone who uses these drugs is an addict or a dealer yet they are made to feel this way. What would be far better is to look into why so many in our society are in such mental pain that they need to self medicate with alcohol, drugs, food, etc. In my opinion these addictions have all the same cause and putting one in the spotlight has not solved any problems except to give the DEA a new purpose.

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    • October 31, 2017 at 11:26 pm

      AMEN! This is the most intelligent comment that I have seen on this subject. One huge problem that seems to be being ignored is people who need pain relief long term. The reign of terror that the DEA has over doctors now is causing many long-time pain management patients to be suddenly cut off of the meds they have been on perhaps for decades.The desperation of that situation causes them to seek street drugs or even commit suicide. That should be criminal! And even with recreational users, I totally agree with you, we need to find out why so many people are needing something to feel good!

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  • May 24, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Very good points.

    At least here in Wisconsin and in our county, I think we are doing well on all these things. There is a county addiction program as well as at least one other program that is connected with the free clinic I do medical transcription for.

    I applaud the addicts that realize they do need help and come in for that help with both the withdrawal and the addiction. They are also guided toward counseling which gets at the real root of their self-medication for physical or emotional pain.

    The clinics and hospitals in the area have posters stating that the OTC pain relievers are as or more effective against pain without some of the worse side effects of narcotics.

    I certainly had that proved to me. I have had Tylenol and its generic handle my extreme back pain as well as possible. I do add a NSAID when it was especially bad. Now with my back neural stimulator implant, I have very little pain.

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  • May 24, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Great clinical advice. My major concern as a clinician is with the current presidential administration efforts to ramp up the “war on drugs” in lieu of allocating more resources to treatment and prevention.
    Rich, MSW

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  • May 25, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    I have RSD and Fibromyalgia, among many other diagnoses. I’ve tried at least a dozen drugs, physical therapy and more, without relief. I currently take oxycodone, chlonazapam, baclofen, diclofenac sodium topical gel and Mirapex to mitigate the pain.. At that it takes me down to about a 5 on good days. I’ve lost most ability to do the activities I’ve enjoyed for decades and am on a walker (headed toward a wheel chair). Life would not be worth living if I had to try to endure this pain without help. It’s hardly bearable now. Target the illicit users and not those of us who can barely function from the pain. I am not an addict although I am dependent. I’m also 70, paying legally for my prescriptions and not a threat to society. Why my chronic diseases and ailments are now denigrated and questioned after decades of suffering is a mystery to me and my doctors. Just let me live out what’s left of my life with SOME quality and relief.

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