In the new ebook, “A World of Hurt: Fixing Pain Medicine’s Biggest Mistake“, New York Times reporter Barry Meier really hits home the fact that opioid prescription painkillers such as OxyContin not only don’t work for many people,they are highly addictive and can cause a myriad of health problems. Addiction to such drugs is often considered more socially acceptable because they’re considered “white collar” drugs, meaning they’re prescribed rather than obtained illegally – at least in most cases.
Most of us know these drugs are addictive and when mixed with other substances such as alcohol, can lead to overdose and even death. But what you may not know is that for many people, they simply don’t work, create psychological dependency and can cause depression of hormone production, lethargy, sleep apnea and much, much more.
Death from the overdose of narcotic painkillers is four times greater than it was even ten years ago. Now, around 16,000 people a year die from an overdose.
So why were narcotic painkillers the preferred choice for treating chronic pain? They’re less expensive than multidisciplinary methods such as physical therapy, and doctors get reimbursed quickly for prescribing these drugs. The good news is that through research and increased awareness of their dangers, more and more doctors are choosing safer alternatives to treat chronic pain.