How do we determine if someone has chronic pain or if they are struggling with pain med addiction? One of the greatest concerns of the 21st century is the mystery of how Americans’ admission of pain increased. In fact, it has gone up on the same order of magnitude as the rise in opiate prescription medication use. On the one hand, Americans in legitimate pain need help. However, at the same time, the matter is suspicious when overall national pain levels increased by over three-hundred percent between 2004 and 2008. During those years, the production and distribution of opiate prescription pain relievers also increased by over three-hundred percent.
Apparently, our consideration and the way that we view pain have changed. A type or level of pain that before we may have just “dealt with” or used an over-the-counter remedy for is now something that we will fill a prescription of incredibly strong painkillers to use. Not to mention that most anyone can get a prescription filled for almost anything. Doctors all across the United States make a lot of money to dole out these drugs, and a person will not have to ask some doctors more than once if they want to get started on opiates.
The Dangers of Pain Med Addiction
Many individuals have chronic pain. But, an unbiased study on every case of “moderate to severe pain,” could reveal that these issues are not that prevalent. According to a report done by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about only one out of five Americans who claim to suffer from severe, chronic pain does have severe, chronic pain. In fact, they are experiencing withdrawal symptoms from pain med addiction.
When you factor that into the gritty truth of prescription, opiate pain relievers, the cons do begin to outweigh the pros. Alternative options start to look a lot more desirable. Further statistics include:
- Overdose deaths are at an all-time high in the United States. The total deaths from legal drug overdoses topped seventeen thousand in 2014. This number is higher than any year in history ever.
- Drug poisoning deaths in the United States doubled to over 17,000 deaths in 2010. The number one killer is opioid pain med addiction. These drugs are supposed to help people, yet they kill more Americans than heroin, cocaine, and crystal meth combined.
- Prescription painkillers and opiate pain relievers kill more Americans than any other drugs. Opioid prescription painkillers are the cause of 32,400 drug overdose deaths that occurred in the U.S. in 2005. Opioids account for about fifty percent of the total deaths.
In the future, it might be wise to inspect more carefully the subject of pain. Again, there are those who do suffer and struggle with chronic pain. They will need some form of attention, whether medical or therapeutic to address this pain. However, it would seem that the problem with rising pain levels in the US is rising substantially. But how much of it is legitimate? That is the real question. Is it chronic pain or is it pain med addiction? This issue is what must be considered by doctors before they prescribe pain drugs.