Why Using Opioids For Pain Management Is A Major Problem

Opioids are a billion-dollar industry operating off of the pain and suffering of millions of Americans. The opioid crisis is costing the U.S. an estimated $78.5 billion per year. One of the largest issues surrounding the use of opioids for pain management is the path for addiction related to opioids. Individuals needing pain relief are using a drug that not only shortens their life, but also creates a life of dependence on it. This does not solve the actual issue causing their pain, but rather exasperates it.  

In the beginning 

Opioids at the start were considered a miracle drug by doctors and pharmaceutical companies because of the instant effect they have for trauma patients who are experiencing chronic pain. The largest problem with using opioids for pain management however is that they easily lead to addiction and they become more difficult to obtain once addiction begins. More than 90% of heroin users started taking opioid medication first and when they could no longer obtain their opioid prescriptions, they turned to a less expensive and even more dangerous alternative – heroin.   

 Why opioids are an issue 

Why are opioids so addicting? The effect they have on your central nervous system dulls pain while providing a “feel good” effect.  After prolonged use of the drug, the dosage needs to be higher to sustain the same level of pain management and euphoric feelings.  After a while, the prescription for opioids is typically stopped by physicians because of the addictive nature and restrictive regulations in place by the federal government. Once these medications are stopped, the individual usually turns to heroin which leads to not only further addiction, but also a life of crime and the need to obtain their drugs from unknown and non-trustworthy sources. Fentanyl is also used to intensify the impact of the drug and is over 100 times more powerful than heroin. Fentanyl is less expensive than the actual drug of heroin, so it has become common for drug dealers to “cut” heroin with fentanyl. Even the smallest dose of fentanyl can instantly cause death. 

How opioids kill 

Opioids affect not only how you feel, but also how your body actually responds during the process of the opioid use. By essentially slowing the electrical activity in your brain, the body’s respiratory systemmay start malfunctioning or even stop working all together. Additionally, your bones are immediately affected, which usually just exasperates the pain even further, and can lead to premature osteoporosis and bone loss. Finally, the damage done on the internal organs such as the heart, brain, liver, etc. is under assault by this highly potent drug, which significantly reduces your overall quality of life and leads to premature death. Unfortunately, there are more than 46,700 deaths per year that are contributed to opioid use. 

How chiropractic can help 

The National Institute of Health found that chronic pain impacts the lives of more Americans than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined. Pain is the leading cause of disability along with the most common reason people seek medical care.  Using chiropractic services as a safe and long-term strategy in pain management will not only improve your quality of life, but will also prevent you from having to risk the chance of an opioid dependance and addiction. Chiropractic care is not only clinically proven to be more effective long-term for pain management and reduction, but it is also far less expensive. If you are experiencing chronic pain, contact Roman Chiropractic today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Roman.