Opioid prescriptions and associated addictions have reached epidemic proportions, resulting in the call for physicians to utilize alternative treatment methods.
Opioids have been a popular pain treatment for decades, resulting in an unintended, yet significant growth in prescriptions, addictions, and even death. The AMA recently recommended that physicians utilize alternative pain treatment methods when possible.AMA President and practicing emergency physician, Steven J. Stack, offered additional insight into the epidemic. "In the late 1990s, the Institute of Medicine issued a report stating that there were then about 100 million Americans living in chronic daily pain that was inadequately treated and that interfered substantially with their quality of life. This report, along with other concurrent and subsequent initiatives, are largely what drove policymakers and physicians to become much more liberal in their support for and prescribing of opioid medications to relieve patients suffering from undertreated pain. Though well-intended, the current opioid epidemic has now shown us with vivid clarity that these efforts were tragically misguided. The evidence is now overwhelming that our current usage pattern for opioids is unsafe and that the associated risks related to it far exceed the benefits produced. Opioids clearly have an appropriate role to play in the treatment of pain, but that role is much smaller and must rapidly be made much less than is current medical practice," said Stack.Here are 10 ways to treat pain besides opioids.Â Click here to download a PDF of this slideshowÂ Steph Weber is a freelance writer hailing from the Midwest. She writes about healthcare, finance, and small business, but finds her passion for the medical field growing in sync with the ever-changing healthcare laws.