The opioid crisis in American has been well documented. And in recent years, lawmakers, national organizations, and everyday physicians have been taking big steps to roll back the number of opioids prescribed daily.
With potent consequences for doctors who over-prescribe, they are becoming less prevalent at the doctor’s office. The nationwide addiction problem is very slowly but steadily starting to recede.
While reducing addiction to addictive painkillers is certainly a good thing on a national level, there is some collateral damage when it comes to scaling back opioid prescriptions.
In fact, recent research found chronic pain patients are less likely to get the pain relievers they need. This is because of this national and unilateral shift in focus on prescribing opioids and other medications with addictive qualities.
Opioid Therapy for Pain
One such study hit the national headlines in July of 2019. The researchers outlined the problems that chronic pain patients are currently having when it comes to having access to medications.
The study examined 70 primary care clinics in the state of Michigan. Researchers asked the practitioners if they use prescription opioids to treat identifiable conditions such as chronic pain.
The results were somewhat shocking. As it turns out, more than 40% of physicians reported their clinics would not accept new patients receiving opioid therapy for pain, regardless of whether or not they had insurance or no history of misuse or addiction.
Researchers conducted additional studies over the years and found doctors are:
- No longer prescribing opioids for new or existing chronic pain patients
- Reducing or eliminating these prescriptions in favor of other and potentially more invasive forms of treatment, such as surgery.
Bad News for Chronic Pain Patients
This may be bad news for chronic pain patients who depend on having medications to live normally. However, it could also present a new opportunity for more effective treatments and better care.
One of the biggest issues of living with chronic pain is that it can take months if not years of doctors’ visits to find treatments that work, and even then, these treatments may only address the symptoms, and not the cause.
As such, the better route to effective and long-term treatment is to meet with an experienced interventional pain management specialist. They can dig deeper into your personal and medical history, and find the true cause behind your continual suffering.
The news has documented the reduction of opioid prescriptions, even when it comes to patients who need it the most, like chronic pain sufferers.
But considering these medications treat the symptoms and not the cause, patients should never consider pain relievers as the ultimate solution.
So find a better way to deal with your chronic pain. Contact Dr. Rich to get started on a new and better path to long-term wellness. With better options available, you can navigate a path towards a life without chronic pain.