What is opioid epidemic?

January 5, 2017

 

In a Frontline article by Dan Nolan and Chris Amico, Drugs now kill more Americans than cars. And the crisis has been building over the course of more than a decade, it has grown into a problem destroying lives across the nation, regardless of age, race, wealth or location.

 

Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. Deaths from drug overdose are up among both men and women, all races, and adults of nearly all ages. Overdoses involving opioids killed more than 28,000 people in 2014. Over half of those deaths were from prescription opioids. And other government agencies are sounding the alarm.

 

After careful examination of the problem, the results suggest that the supply of prescription opioids remains high in the U.S. An estimated 1 out of 5 patients with non-cancer pain or pain-related diagnoses are prescribed opioids in office-based settings. And health care providers, including those in primary care settings, report concern about opioid-related risks of addiction and overdose, as well as insufficient training in pain management. Although prescription opioids can help manage some types of pain, there is not enough evidence that opioids improve chronic pain, function, and quality of life.CBS news, (HealthDay News) -- Drug overdose deaths continue to surge in the United States, with most fatalities linked to the illicit use of prescription painkillers, new government statistics reveal.

 

A quote from Winston Churchill, speaking in Britain’s House of Commons May 2, 1935:

 

“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure …. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong — these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”

 

On a brighter note, Science gives great insight on not only what works and what doesn't but also why. Let’s say you eat vegetables because they’re good for you. You might be surprised to learn that some are better than others, or that the method of cooking them makes a big difference. Fitness is just as complex. What kind of exercise, for how long for the best results?

 

Nutrition offers practical nondrug strategies for people in pain. For an example, Magnesium and vitamin D can reduce perception of pain and some B vitamins fuel the neurotransmitters that put the brakes on pain. Same goes for physical activity, strengthening muscle tone and flexibility alleviates pain.

 

Pharmacogenomics study the role of the genome in drug response - plays an important role in identifying responders and nonresponders to medications avoiding adverse events and optimizing drug therapy like certain antidepressants and opiates.

We make decisions with information that is incomplete. We should shield ourselves against foisted abstractions of formal wisdom. Use technology to hack the code.

 

There are many online and community resources available to assist, for no or a small fee you can consult with a qualified professional to enable you and your healthcare team choose the right medication and the right dose, nutrition and exercise regime that increases the likelihood of achieving the desired therapeutic effect and reducing the risk of unintended adverse drug reactions.

 

Disclaimer; the information presented in this article is not medical advice and it should be treated as such.

 

Ramzy Haddad, RPh

Health scientist & health hacker

WiXHealth.com

 

Health Hacker I My goal is to assist people with decisions about nutrition, exercise and drug therapy to reduce their personal risk of injury. My favorite way to spend time is outdoor adventures and cycling.

 

“If you’ve enjoyed this article please be sure to forward to a friend“

 

 

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