Recent revelations all over the news are making clear the true risks and costs to public health of prescription opioid painkillers. A study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 11.4 million people misused prescription opioids in 2016.
In 2017, according to the CDC, more than 70,000 people died of drug overdoses. Approximately 48,000 (69%) of these deaths were due to opioids. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, and they exceed the peak annual deaths due to car crashes, HIV, and gun violence.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that in 2017, “Georgia providers wrote 70.9 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons, compared to the average U.S. rate of 58.7 prescriptions.” In that same year, 1,014 Georgians died of opioid overdoses.
Approximately 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, according to the National Institutes of Health, which says, “Although opioids may not always be the best course of treatment for chronic pain, the number of prescriptions for opioid pain relievers has increased dramatically in recent years.”
For many people suffering from chronic pain, opioid use begins in desperation. Disabled, distressed, and depressed, they seek out anything that will bring them some relief. And for many years, doctors believed pharmaceutical company claims that opioids were relatively safe.
But as the dangers of opioids become tragically apparent, many patients feel caught in an impossible choice. Accept the serious risks of opioid use for the uncertain possibility of some relief. Or continue to suffer the full force of their chronic pain.
But this impossible choice is a false choice. There are alternatives that can bring real relief without the dire risks of opioids.
Real hope is how to fight a drug of desperation. And when pain is the root cause of that despair — as it so often is with opioids — that means replacing opioids with more effective treatments.
That’s the fight we’ve taken up at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers. To combat the opioid crisis by providing better alternatives for people suffering from chronic pain.
Using multidisciplinary interventional pain management, we help people better manage or treat their pain, without the terrible risks of opioids.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we seek first to understand your pain: both its biology and your experience. Then we work together to create an integrated plan of care:
We track our clinical outcomes, so we know what actually works. And we’re leading our industry to better protocols through our stringent prescription guidelines and effective non-opioid solutions.
The opioid crisis isn’t just a tragedy of addiction and overdoses. It’s a crisis of people suffering in debilitating pain, despairing that they’ll ever find relief. Interventional pain management can offer real hope for healing that opioids never will.
To explore alternatives to opioids for your chronic pain, make an appointment today. We’re here for you and ready to help.