America Is Losing the War on Chronic Pain

November 17, 2017
 By Alyssa
November 17, 2017
 By Alyssa

America Is Losing the War on Chronic Pain

It may not come as a surprise that chronic pain is one of the most common health concerns in America. With about 1 in 3 of Americans living with some form of pain whether chronic or severe, it’s certainly not hard to understand opioid dependencies and overdoses rising to an all time high. Even with pain being a common complaint amongst most patients most find it difficult to find relief. Some patients falling victim to the stigma portrayed by the media and skepticism from healthcare providers. This can leave patients feeling lost, upset, and even angry at the fact that they are misunderstood. It is often hard to comprehend the complexity and challenges of what someone with chronic pain go through every day. According to Cindy Steinberg, the national director of policy and advocacy at the U.S. Pain Foundation and chair of the Policy Council of the Massachusetts Pain Initiative, the media and politics have added to the hardship these patients face because they cannot find help. This has just compounded the issues caused by the widespread use OxyContin for pain. President Trump has also declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, and while no one disputes the dangers of the drug, these patients still need relief. Patients that do find a provider who will listen often find new hurdles from their insurance companies. Truthfully, patients will not find relief until the medical community truly becomes educated on the topic and these patients are heard and given alternatives that work.

Key Takeaways:

  • high rate of over 100 million Americans with Chronic pain without proper treatment lead to increase overdoses and addictions to drugs like Opioids.
  • Opioid abuse now believed to be the greatest threat in drug epidemics in the history of the US, leading to deaths of about 33,000 in 2015.
  • Pain prescriptions not providing enough relief to the patients but still are #1 way, long term resolution requires individualized care that doctors cant provide or lack the knowledge or time to do so.

“Because of some healthcare workers’ attitudes toward opioids and media coverage of the opioid epidemic, when patients bring up the fact that they live with pain, they’re looked at with skepticism, questioned relentlessly, second-guessed, and judged.”

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