Doctors are over-prescribing opioids to their patients, putting them at extreme risk of addiction while healthier and more natural solutions to pain management are being overlooked.
(New Port Richey, FL) January 18, 2016—A whopping 80% of the world’s pain pills are consumed in the United States, which has just 5% of the world’s population. As a result, accidental prescription opioid drug overdose is now the leading cause of acute preventable death for Americans, about one every 19 minutes—far more than car fatalities. (1)
Novus’ Kent Runyon, Chief Strategy and Compliance Officer, believes this misuse of opioids as a pain management solution grew out of patients’ ignorance of how risky these drugs are, as well as a misplaced trust in their doctors. “Patients should never relinquish their own personal responsibility for their health,” Runyon said. “Good doctors don’t focus on the symptoms of a disease; they want to ultimately treat the disease itself. Feeding symptoms simply escalates the problem—and now we have an epidemic.”
This epidemic has infiltrated many strata of society not previously associated with addiction. A JAMA report first published in May of 2014 found that compared with earlier generations of heroin users, newer initiates are more likely to be older, white, live in non-urban areas, and first abused prescription painkillers. Furthermore, although the “high” produced by heroin was described as a significant factor in its selection, it was often used because it was more readily accessible and much less expensive than prescription opioids.
The report went on to say that part of this increase in heroin use and migration to a new class of users is due to the coincidental increase in the abuse of prescription opioids over the last 20 years. Given that physicians direct prescription opioids, patients are more likely to have considered the medication to be trustworthy and predictable. (2)
Runyon emphasizes that many different types of people have become victims of substance abuse by way of unnecessary and excessive exposure to opioids when treating minor injuries or ailments.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, agrees. In a recent report on painkiller addicts turning to heroin, he said, “Like the people who take the pills in the first place, society wanted a quick fix. Instead of treating the core cause of drug addiction, we implemented blanket policies to restrict the medications, alter them and place them increasingly out of reach. Yet human beings are smart, and it was easy to reach for something on a lower shelf, more easily accessible.” (1)
Runyon advises that “prescribing therapy, lifestyle changes, non-opioid painkillers, a wide variety of natural methods for pain relief, and healthier and more ergonomic lifestyles has been proven to produce good results with none of the risks associated with opioids. All of these approaches are available now, and taking such a course of action would reduce this unnecessary addiction.”
About Novus Medical Detox Center:
Novus Medical Detox Center is a Joint Commission Accredited inpatient medical detox facility. Novus offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Florida, Novus is also licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families and is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient. By incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment, Novus tailors the detox process for each patient, putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, cable television and high-speed Internet access. Novus’ expansion is tied to its contribution to its industry and local community, ranking number 48 on the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2014 Fast 50 Awards list of the fastest-growing companies in Tampa Bay, and number 2,936 on the 2014 Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America. For more information, visit http://www.novusdetox.com.
- Gupta, Sanjay. “Unintended Consequences: Painkiller Pills to Heroin—CNN.com.” CNN. Cable News Network, 3 Jan. 2015. Web. 10 Jan. 2016. cnn.com/2014/08/29/health/gupta-unintended-consequences/.
- Cicero TJ et al. JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.366 [published online May 28, 2014].
Karla Jo Helms
Phone: 888-202-4614 ext. 802