The opioid crisis; another point of view from an addiction psychiatrist.

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The opioid crisis; another point of view from an addiction psychiatrist. It's tough to be an American in pain.  It is even tougher if you visited your doctor for back pain, knee pain, or some other painful issue a while ago and you were given an opioid to which you became unknowingly addicted. It is unfortunate that medical doctors have so little training in how to evaluate the musculoskeletal system and resort to medication instead. According to an addiction psychiatrist, the problem may also be one of depression, anxiety, other mental health conditions, or current or prior problems with drugs or alcohol. The availability of these substances both through doctors or on the street has contributed to the growing problem that is affecting people even in higher income communities. America is a competitive place. Many Americans must deal with the rigors of life in a uniquely American way. Many of us also have a mortgage, children, school loans  and other pressures which may feel like there is no way out.   This is very unique to American life, as many other societies to not have students graduating with massive debt as they enter the workforce. Are American's medicating their way to new high's and less stress through an Opioid dependency? It sure seems that way when we find out that many of our neighbors are on some psychotropic medication. Check out this doctors interesting point of view on the subject The Myth of What’s Driving the Opioid Crisis Doctor-prescribed painkillers are not the biggest threat. By SALLY SATEL February 21, 2018 As an addiction psychiatrist, I have watched with serious concern as the opioid crisis has escalated in the United States over the past several years, and overdose deaths have skyrocketed. The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show fatalities spiraling up to about 42,000 in 2016, almost double the casualties in 2010 and more than five times the 1999 figures. The White House Council of Economic Advisers recently estimated that the opioid crisis cost the nation half a trillion dollars in 2015, based on deaths, criminal justice expenses and productivity losses. Meanwhile, foster care systems are overflowing with children whose parents can’t care for them, coroners’ offices are overwhelmed with bodies and ambulance services are straining small-town budgets. American carnage, indeed. I have also watched a false narrative about this crisis blossom into conventional wisdom: The myth that the epidemic is driven by patients becoming addicted to doctor-prescribed opioids, or painkillers like hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin) and oxycodone (e.g., Percocet). One oft-quoted physician refers to opioid medication as “heroin pills.” This myth is now a media staple and a plank in nationwide litigation against drugmakers. It has also prompted legislation, introduced last spring by Senators John McCain and Kirsten Gillibrand—the Opioid Addiction Prevention Act, which would impose prescriber limits because, as a news release stated, “Opioid addiction and abuse is commonly happening to those being treated for acute pain, such as a broken bone or wisdom tooth extraction.” Read more