It was reported In Primary Care Network that:
Approximately 100 million Americans report they suffer from some type of chronic pain, costing the US between $560 and $635 billion annually.
The extended-release (ER)/long-acting (LA) opioid analgesics are effective pharmacologic solutions for many chronic pain patients. However, in the United States:
1. Misuse or abuse of prescription painkillers resulted in almost 500,000 Emergency Department visits in 2009
2. More people die from unintentional overdose deaths involving opiate analgesics than from cocaine and heroin combined
3. Drug poisoning is responsible for more deaths than motor vehicle traffic accidents annually
So what is the BIG problem?
Bigger problem is that many patients on opioids like – Hydrocodone-Acetominaphen or popularly called “Norco”, ( yes they made it sound like Narco), get “hooked” on it. As time passes, their brains need more and more of Norco to feel same control of pain. (Medical word is “tolerance”). Eventually they have more sleepiness and lethargy rather than pain control. So when they wake up pain is still there and they want more Norco. Eventually the pain doctor gets scared that he is giving you too much Norco, and he cuts you off from your medicine, telling you that “you are abusing it”.
Now, you the Patient suffering from pain has nowhere to go. (In most cases other doctors respectfully reject to take you on). Now the patient starts buying it from the street. Eventually he goes to heroin which is plenty on the street. You start shooting it in the vein.
Absolutely sad. But your brain wants it. You are addicted. You go to the doctor again.
Some doctors will put you on antidepressants.
Some will pity you and give you Norco again.
Some doctors will put you on Suboxone. Another opioid to replace Norco. Mind you. The cost of treatment can be expensive.
Our symptom based medicine practice (pill for each symptom), has fallen in the hands of medical industry. You treat side effect of one medicine with another
None of this is the healthy way of managing your problem.
We offer a non-narcotic way of pain control and opiate withdrawal. We use combination of acupuncture and blood pressure medication to achieve this.
Dr. Mahesh Dave