University of Cincinnati (UC) experts are calling on the medical community to reevaluate its role in stopping the rise of prescription opioid abuse in the country, and conducting more research into iatrogenic addiction (a form of addiction that results from medical treatment) and effective pain management strategies.
In a statement published on the UC Academic Health Center’s web site, researchers said that the medical community has to find innovative ways on battling “drug misuse and diversion” given the current rate of opioid abuse in the country. They also recommend focusing more on chronic pain treatment for patients prescribed with opioids. The researchers are, in fact, conducting a study among patients with opioid addiction to find out how their addiction started at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
“Clearly, there is a need to reduce the number of pain pills available to those who are abusing them and there are many efforts underway to do that,” the study’s lead author Dr. Gillian Beauchamp said in the statement. “Our question is how do people become addicted in the first place, and how often does the spiral into addiction begin even though the patient is taking pain medication just as their doctor told them to?”
“As physicians, we routinely warn patients about the risks of sedation from these medications, but rarely discuss the risk of addiction,” senior author Dr. Michael Lyons said. “That should change right away, but the situation is difficult because we don’t know precisely how big the risk is.”
According to the statement, 46 Americans died from opioid overdose daily in 2010. The rising number of overdose deaths, the researchers said, happens to coincide with the rising sales of prescription opioids.
Physicians, Beauchamp said, “have been taught to treat pain and not worry about addiction” for the past decades. The neglect, however, has given way to addiction in some patients.
Researchers also emphasized that research is “urgently needed” so that health care providers will be able to determine the trade-off between addiction risks and the need to treat a patient’s pain disorder as well as communicate such risks to them.
“Attention to this is long overdue, but it’s a challenging predicament for doctors that prescribe pain medications for their patients. They want to treat their patients’ symptoms, one of which tends to be pain, but pain is very subjective to each person. There’s probably more over-prescribing than under-prescribing that occurs in terms of narcotic pain medications being given, when a non-narcotic pain reliever would have probably been sufficient. I can recall a couple of times in my own life when I was automatically prescribed a narcotic for pain when in hindsight, extra strength ibuprofen would have done the trick for me,” said Brady Granier, Chief Operating Officer of BioCorRx, Inc. (OTCQB: BICX), the company which developed an innovative rehabilitation program called the Start Fresh Program. The program is used by a number of clinics across America to treat alcohol and opioid addiction.
The Start Fresh Program is a two-tiered program that takes a different approach to addiction rehabilitation. The first phase of the program involves an outpatient medical procedure to embed a specially formulated, biodegradable naltrexone implant under the skin and fatty tissue in the lower abdominal area.
The second tier of the program involves a private, one-on-one coaching program to address the specific needs of the individual and to help him or her plan for a life free from substance abuse.
For more information on BioCorRx, Inc.’s Start Fresh Program, you may reach the company’s headquarters via phone: 714-462-4880, or visit www.startfreshprogram.com.