The Opioid Crisis is an issue that has continued to fester in the United States due to overprescription of the pain killer post surgery. Surgery is often a gateway to persistent opioid use, in fact, one study shows that 12% of patients who underwent surgery in the past year became addicted or dependent on opioids.
The problem’s prevalence is surprising in today’s world of medicine due to the amount of options to relieve pain through alternative prescriptions that are safer to use over extended periods of time.
Dr. Paul Sethi M.D. states, “We are still giving out too many pills for any given procedure. So, rotator cuff surgery may get more than an average of ninety pills while joint replacements are going to get more than one-hundred pills.”
Patients face concern regarding how their doctor will manage their pain post surgery without introducing them to a lifetime of addiction.
Dr. Paul Sethi recalls learning about pain management in Medical School, which described opioid use as the first line of treatment.
Research also shows that 90% of prescribed opioids will keep them in the house even after they are needed. This may cause harm to family members of all ages. Fred Muench, the President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug Free Kids, explains that leftover opioids in the house is one of the primary contributors to drug addiction in adolescents.
Becoming aware of the severity of opioid use for pain management has led patients to inquire about different prescription options that are available. Also, many pharmacies have prescription drug disposal programs to keep families and adolescents safe from opioids.
Be sure to check out the segment below for more information about the Opioid Crisis, and how we can all take steps towards conquering this medical issue.