According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, "overdose deaths, particularly from prescription drugs and heroin, have reached epidemic levels. In 2015, annual overdose deaths from heroin alone surpassed deaths from both car accidents and guns, with other opioid overdose deaths also on the rise. Drug overdoses have since become the leading cause of death of Americans under 50, with two-thirds of those deaths from opioids.”
There is a high risk for addiction with opioid use. There is a staggering amount of those who use and abuse opioids as recreational drugs.
In the middle of this epidemic are real people with real pain.
In June of 1999, I experienced the worst pain of my life from gunshot wounds, not treated for 46-hours. After hours of surgery, I woke up to intravenous fluids and medications, including Morphine. In the four weeks of my hospitalization, I transitioned to Percocet on a PRN (as needed) basis.
Upon discharge I attended Physical Therapy three times weekly, using Naprosyn or Tylenol PRN as I continued healing/getting stronger.
When I truly needed pain relief, I was grateful for my medical team and their collaboration with/understanding of me.
I watched a 11-minute TEDx talk by Kate Nicholson (writer, speaker, civil rights attorney) on pain in the context of the opioid epidemic.
Kate’s situation is different than mine. Yet, the short term use of opioids (finally) with her was just as life-changing.
Check out this video. I found Kate’s message to be both informative and powerful...
In closing, a multi-faceted approach with adequate funding to support research, education, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation is a tall, but necessary, order to address this societal killer, while simultaneously advocating for those experiencing severe pain.
I welcome your thoughts, as always.
Wishing you a peaceful day,
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This multi-topic blog publishes weekly on Wednesdays.
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