Opioid addiction, the CDC and patients who are hurting; The chiropractic profession offers better options.

Opioid addiction, the CDC and patients who are hurting; The chiropractic profession offers better options.

You are probably tired of hearing about opioid addiction from numerous different news sources.

Patients who have relief on opioids for pain relief are now having difficulty getting them or getting off of them because of the latest policies of the CDC.  Doctors are terrified of them and their prescriptive rights for the drugs have been restricted by the CDC.

Recently, USA Today reported on the frustration being felt by both doctors and patients as they try to manage the explosion of drugs that relieve pain but also through addition, make it difficult to get off of them.

Many patients who took opioids regularly may have been injured at one time, either accidently or by a surgery gone wrong resulting in chronic pain.   Some became addicted because of a prescription that was given for temporary usage that eventually put them in more pain when they tried to stop taking the drugs.

Insurance carriers may have also inadvertently aggravated the problem when they made it cheaper to take the drugs than to get the care the patient needed.   This was true of Partnership Healthcare in California that had high concentrations of addicted patients everywhere they insured patients under Medicaid.

Many doctors thought that these drugs were a miracle in how they controlled pain years ago, until people developed withdrawal symptoms.

Unfortunately, the problem exists because of a misunderstanding of pain by the medical, and drug communities and a failure of insurance companies to properly insure patients in pain for physical medicine that can help how people function. Many studies are now showing surgeries that were commonly done on the shoulder, spine and knee were not effective, and some patients may have been worse off.

Chiropractors are often mentioned as a group that has skills for both and the profession has a good reputation for doing so.  Unfortunately, with such high deductibles and copayments, they are often underutilized, while surgeries are often over emphasized.

The opioid problem can be fixed by making it cheaper to visit chiropractors and physical therapists. Optumhealth, a division of United Health Group will soon be doing just that; making it less expensive to visit these providers first while making it more expensive to take medication for pain.  The new program will be based on years of data they have compiled which shows that groups such as chiropractors are more effective, safer and cheaper solutions for back and other types of musculoskeletal pain, when compared to physician based solutions.

Patients who suffer from chronic pain may also be part of the problem, and they must embrace the idea of seeing a therapist instead of taking a pill. If they are addicted, they must go through withdrawal which can be lengthy, and a horrible experience.

USA Today recently reported on this problem. Check out the article below

Pain patients left in anguish by doctors ‘terrified’ of opioid addiction, despite CDC change
Ken Alltucker and Jayne O’Donnell,

June 30, 2019

New York resident Mickey Saxbury worked on a General Motors assembly line for 25 years before sharp, throbbing back pain from an on-the-job injury forced him to retire.

A back operation failed. A device to block his pain gradually became ineffective. The only thing that’s consistently worked, he says, is pain medication.

A judge overseeing his New York State Workers Compensation Board disability case ordered that his opioids be sharply reduced.

“They dropped me so far down that I can’t even get off the couch anymore,” said Saxbury, 61, who lives near Buffalo.

Chronic pain patients such as Saxbury say the medical community is shutting them out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines in 2016 to cut back prescriptions after years of liberal opioid dispensing contributed to addiction and overdose deaths.

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