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What do we do about opiates?!

There has been a problem brewing in the management of pain for some time. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what the catalyst was but the problem is here none the less. I am talking about the problems with opiates. Now don’t get me wrong, there is certainly a time and a place for these potent pain killers. For those of you that don’t know, I was a combat medic in the 82nd Airborne Division with combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I have witnessed first-hand how effective these drugs are at what they do. The problem, as I see it, is that it has become the tool of choice in too many pain cases. I don’t fault the providers necessarily. As providers, we use the tools in our toolbox. I adjust a person; that is the main tool in my toolbox. Part of the problem rests with conservative care providers. We certainly could have and should have been doing a better job of educating our peers in other professions about the tools at our disposal for pain management. There is a growing movement within healthcare for integrated care which in theory should lead to better patient outcomes. The National Association of Attorneys General has asked insurers to take a look at their payment and coverage plans regarding opiates. They have also suggested that insurers encourage conservative care measures prior to opiates being prescribed. That information can be found in this letter: http://www.naag.org/assets/redesign/files/sign-on-letter/Final%20NAAG%20Opioid%20Letter%20to%20AHIP.pdf

No matter what our discipline or philosophical background is your health and wellness providers are interested in seeing you live a happy and productive life. If you have questions concerning your prescriptions or what forms conservative care can take, talk to your trusted health care professional! They will be able to steer you in the right direction even if they don’t have an outright answer to your question!

Yours in health,

Doc

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