Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"Doctors told to avoid prescribing opiates for chronic pain"

"The nation's top federal health agency urged doctors to avoid prescribing powerful opiate painkillers for patients with chronic pain, saying the risks from such drugs far outweigh the benefits for most people.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its first ever guidelines for dispensing the morphine-like, addictive drugs, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, said it took the action Tuesday to combat the nation's deadly prescription painkiller epidemic.

"The guidelines carve out an exception for patients receiving cancer treatment or end-of-life care. When doctors determine that such drugs are necessary in other situations, the CDC advises doctors prescribe the lowest possible dose for the shortest amount of time.

"About 40 Americans die each day from overdosing on prescription painkillers, according to the CDC. In 2013, an estimated 1.9 million people abused or were dependent on prescription opiates.

"'We know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently,' said CDC director Thomas Frieden. 'We hope to see fewer deaths from opiates. That's the bottom line. These are really dangerous medications that carry the risk of addiction and death.'

"The CDC directed the guidelines to primary care physicians, who prescribe nearly half of opiates. Doctors aren't legally obligated to follow the recommendations, which are intended for adult patients, but such directives often have influence."

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/03/15/cdc-issues-new-guidelines-opiate-prescribing-reduce-abuse-overdoses/81809704/ 

The Center for Disease Control once again shows its ignorance about addiction.  Doesn't anyone else think the rise in heroin use is tied to previous CDC attempts to curb opiate painkillers?  People will get their drugs, one way or another.  In my opinion, initiatives like these do more harm than good by forcing more people to use street drugs to treat their pain. 

"From 2001 to 2014 there was a 6-fold increase in the total number of deaths," from heroin. - https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates


kkdither said...

Of course people resort to street drugs, like heroin when they are no longer able to get the legal prescriptions, especially for chronic and severe pain. The real problem (I believe) is, doctors have long prescribed oxy and vicodin like candy, when something else could do just as well for minor pain control. Some people then, get hooked... less for pain control, but more for "recreational" and addictive reasons.

Personally, I don't like the stuff. I've turned it down many times for one thing or another. I've also recycled the leftovers of bottles that I stopped taking, once I felt that I could manage the pain on my own. I recall a walk-in clinic doctor looking at me like I was crazy one time for turning it down. He asked me if I had an addiction problem, and therefore needed to avoid it. Sorry, doc. No. I prefer to be in control.

OrbsCorbs said...

Vicodin makes me angry. Really. I don't know why. So i don't take it. I've never had Oxy, but I hear it's the best for acute pain. Just ask THB about her surgery and Oxy.

lizardmom said...

I have a friend who is an army vet. He lost a leg in the service and has had other medical issues that have had him on opiate drugs since he was in his teens. This year he decided to try getting off of them. The withdrawal stuff has been torture on him but he's determined. He wished they had tried a different kind of treatment way back when. He's a tough one, an dI know he'll make it, but to see the affects on him trying to get it out of his system, really hard stuff :(

OrbsCorbs said...

I have an AA buddy who got hooked on morphine in Vietnam. When he returned to the states, he didn't know anyone who sold morphine or heroin, or how to get it, so he switched to alcohol. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. He was a nasty drunk, often getting into fights, especially with the police. Because of his PTSD, he saw all uniforms as the "enemy." After he sobered up, he spoke with a cop friend. The cop said they hated to respond to calls involving him because they knew there would be a fight.