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Painkillers: Can We Live Without Them?

America is Hooked on Dope – And Our Doctors are The Dealers

By now, most Americans are familiar with the opioid crisis happening in the United States. Things have gotten so bad, President Donald Trump recently declared the country’s opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. Millions of people from all walks of life are hooked on narcotic painkillers like Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Morphine, and Codeine. These highly addictive medications are responsible for the deaths of more than 30,000 people every year. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are doing time behind bars because of some opioid-related crime. Furthermore, complications related to opioids are costing the United States billions of dollars annually in healthcare costs and other expenses. The country is hooked on dope. And it’s coming from doctors in starched, white coats promising freedom from pain. What we’re finding is that many prescription drugs are addictive.

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Opioids Are Currently The Number One Solution For Pain In America

Presently, opioid painkillers are the number one solution for chronic pain in America. When people go to the doctor complaining of aches and pains, doctors throw opioid drugs their way – with little warning about how dangerous and addictive these medications are. This explains how such widespread problems have gripped the nation as it relates to opioid addiction. After years of opioid abuse among Americans of all ages, medical experts and policymakers are finally having strategic conversations about solutions to the opioid epidemic. Very simply, the solution starts with answering this very important question: how we are going to create a paradigm shift when it comes to how we treat pain in this country? We’ve become so dependent on opioids, people believe we can’t live without them.

It’s Time We Start To Learn How To Live Without Painkillers

Let’s get real, America. We CAN live without opioid painkillers. And we should. The fact is, we can’t live with them – they are killing us! Besides, at the rate things are going, before you know it, we probably aren’t going to have a choice. With everything that is happening in the country right now, chances are opioids won’t be around much longer. From Trump’s public health emergency declaration to the many lawsuits being filed against major opioid pharmaceutical companies, it’s safe to assume that opioids are probably on their way out. We need to find alternatives for treating pain now and stop the madness of opioid addiction one hurting person at a time. With an estimated 100 million Americans suffering from some kind of chronic pain, we’ve got our work cut out for us.

Big Pharmaceutical Companies Have Intentionally Lied About The Danger of Opioids to Profit from Pain

We want to stress that opioid painkillers are extremely addictive and very dangerous substances. You wouldn’t think so because they are prescribed by the doctor. This would lead you to believe they are relatively safe for treating pain. However; this is simply not the case. Statistics indicate approximately 142 people die every day from an overdose of opioid painkillers. When your doc gives you medication that has been approved from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, you trust that it is safe for human consumption. However; the statistics have spoken. These drugs are not safe. To bring this point home, we want you to know more about the lawsuits we mentioned earlier. More than two dozen city and state governments across the United States – Chicago, Indianapolis, Seattle, Toledo, Tacoma and Washington State, to name a few – are suing big companies like Teva Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Allergan for deceiving the American public about the dangers of drugs like OxyContin. According to these lawsuits, these companies made false claims about the safety of opioid painkillers and lied about how effective these medications actually are for treating pain. The suits also allege that these big pharma corporations were intentionally deceptive about how addictive opioids, suggesting these medications came with a low addiction risk. Opioids sales are a more than $13 billion a year business. These governmental agencies are suing for hundreds of millions of dollars. Let’s see how this all plays out in court. In the meantime – be warned: OPIOIDS ARE NOT SAFE – OPIOIDS ARE DEADLY – OPIOIDS ARE ADDICTIVE – DO NOT TAKE OPIOIDS.

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Despite What We Have Been Told, Research Indicates Opioids Aren’t Even That Effective For Treating Pain

There has been a lot of research in recent years indicating that – despite what we have been told – opioid painkillers aren’t really that effective for treating pain. Studies indicate that non-opioid drugs can be just as successful (if not more so) for addressing acute pain. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by researchers at Albany Medical College and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York examined four different approaches to acute pain in an emergency room. Three involved the use of opioid medication and one used over-the-counter non-opioid pain relievers. The researchers concluded that “there were no statistically significant or clinically important differences in pain reduction at two hours” between those treated with opioids and those who were not. The conclusion was that the kind of pain studied (which included acute shoulder, arm, hip, and leg pain) could treated with non-opioid medications. This research is promising for those looking to treat pain without the use of opioids.

You Might Be Surprised to Learn That Opioid Painkillers Don’t Actually Kill Pain?

It’s important to understand that opioids don’t really take away pain. They do not go to the source of pain and remove it. They may be called painkillers, but they don’t kill pain. What they actually do is work to “trick” the body into believing it isn’t experiencing pain by altering the mind’s perception of pain. In the process, they create a euphoric high the human brain falls in love with – and demands more of. What really happens when you take opioid painkillers is you run the risk of becoming addicted and bringing about more pain. If you take opioids, you quickly build a tolerance. This means you need more and more of the drug to get the same effect. Soon, the medication won’t work at all. However; if you try and stop taking opioids, you will go through withdrawal. Withdrawal is what happens when you try and remove the opioids from your body. Withdrawal symptoms are very painful and debilitating. This causes you to want more painkillers. This is how chronic pain leads to addiction.

If Opioids Aren’t That Great For Treating Pain, Why Do So Many People Take Them For Pain Relief?

After taking opioids for any length of time, you will find that your body’s natural pain inhibitors have been interrupted. Your body has its own natural pain blockers that actually do kill pain, but when you take opioids, your body stops producing these. Once you go through withdrawal, your body will experience pain on a whole new level. It will take some time for the body’s natural processes to get reestablished so you can begin to produce those natural pain blockers again. All of this is a very complicated and involved process that no one wants to experience. The trap most people fall into is to take more opioid painkillers to relieve the pain. This begets the vicious, never-ending cycle of opioid addiction, which is why people continue to take opioids.

If Opioids Aren’t The Solution For Pain, What Is?

We’ve given you a lot of reasons why it is not a good idea to take opioid painkillers. We think we have driven the point home – these medications are not safe, they are addictive, and they aren’t even that effective for treating pain. This begs the question, if opioids aren’t the solution for combatting pain, what is there left to do? We want to provide you with a few alternatives for taking opioids. These methods have proven to be effective for pain management and we think that if you give them a try, you might be quite pleased with the results. Keep in mind that we have been so over medicated in this country for so long, we often scoff at home remedies or alternative methods for treating pain. We ask that you keep an open mind when reading about these various therapies.

Acupuncture Is An Age-Old Remedy For Treating Pain – And It Works

Acupuncture is highly undervalued as a method for treating pain. However; this 2,000-year-old Chinese medicinal therapy has worked wonders for millions of people around the world who have given it a go to treat chronic pain. Acupuncture works by inserting tiny little needles in the skin along various nerve centers in the body. This sends signals to the brain to release endorphins that fight pain. The process activates the body’s own natural pain-relieving processes and demonstrates the number one objective of acupuncture – self-healing. Acupuncture is said to help eliminate chronic headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, joint pain, Fibromyalgia, and other common body aches and pain disorders.

Hypnotherapy Can Help Reduce The Brain’s Response To Pain

It might seem hokey, but hypnosis has actually been proven to help countless people learn to live with chronic pain. Hypnotherapy is performed by a licensed hypnotherapist who guides you to an altered mental state where you become more susceptible to suggestion. While you are in this state of consciousness, you become more open to the power of the mind’s ability to accomplish goals – in this case, pain management. With hypnotherapy, you will be guided through relaxation techniques and be oriented to a greater place of comfort within your own body. Before you write off hypnotherapy, do some research on your own and learn more about this therapeutic practice.

Meditation Relaxes The Mind And Body To Help Overcome Pain

Most people completely overlook the many advantages of meditation. Meditation is a mental and physical relaxation technique that has proven to have numerous health benefits – including pain reduction. There are all sorts of free apps available to help you learn how to meditate. Meditation is a combination of breathing and quieting the mind that allows the body to go into a relaxed state of consciousness. It has been said that being in this altered state trains the body to learn how to transcend pain. Research shows that meditation can help relieve arthritis, chronic back and neck pain, and chronic pain conditions like Fibromyalgia.

Therapeutic Massage Works Wonders For Relieving Pain

We all know that massage feels good – but did you know therapeutic massage can actually relieve pain? Therapeutic massage was prescribed by doctors for centuries for pain relief, but with the wave of opioid prescriptions, doctors stopped prescribing it as often. However; medical professionals are once again turning patients toward this alternative therapy with everything we are learning about the dangers of opioid painkillers. Deep-tissue massage performed by a certified massage therapist can work wonders for the body.

Non-Opioid Painkillers Are Always a Safe Alternative To Opioid Medications

We’ve focused so much on opioid painkillers, we have forgotten that non-opioid painkillers are available. These are non-addictive and do not produce the high or buzz associated with medications like OxyContin and Hydrocodone. Gabapentin is a common non-narcotic medication that is actually used as an anti-seizure medication. However; this medication is becoming more popular for treating pain because of its pain-relieving qualities. It is a safe, non-addictive alternative to opioid painkillers. You can also always use over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Ibuprofen. We understand these might not be the best for treating severe pain, but they are effective for treating back pain, neck and shoulder pain, and other various body aches. Often, people abuse opioid painkillers when something over-the-counter could be just as effective.

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Research Other Alternatives Until You Find What Is Right For You To Treat Your Pain

These alternative therapies are just a few of the many, many other options you have available to you as methods for treating pain without opioid painkillers. Steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medications, and aromatherapy are just a few choices. Find what works for you so you can find relief from pain while avoiding the dangers of narcotic opioid painkillers.