Time to Get Serious About the Dual Epidemics of Chronic Pain and Opioid Addiction
Alternative Pain Treatment Expert Cindy Perlin, LCSW Says Effective Prevention and Treatments Have Been Ignored For Too Long
ALBANY, NEW YORK, USA, December 27, 2022/ EINPresswire.com / -- Chronic pain and opioid overdoses have never been worse and the two are intimately connected. According to a September 2021 Harris Poll, 56% of adult Americans reported they suffer from chronic pain. This compares to about 30% of American adults just a few years earlier. Opioid overdoses have also been rapidly escalating with an all-time high of over 80,000 deaths in 2021. Though most of those recent deaths have been caused by illicit fentanyl, the vast majority of users first became addicted to opioids prescribed for acute or chronic pain.
Alternative pain treatment expert Cindy Perlin, LCSW, the founder and CEO of the Alternative Pain Treatment Directory and author of The Truth About Chronic Pain Treatments: The Best and Worst Strategies for Becoming Pain Free, says “The escalation In the incidence of chronic pain and opioid addiction and overdoses are directly attributable to the wrong-headed policies of government authorities and health insurance companies.”
According to Perlin, two factors are responsible for the increases. The first is that physicians and healthcare policymakers have focused almost exclusively on unsafe drugs and invasive medical procedures that don’t address the root causes of pain. Physicians and dentists continue to prescribe highly addictive opioids to new patients for even minor ailments while ignoring safer and more effective treatments. Secondly, patients in severe chronic pain have been involuntarily and abruptly cut off from opioids or had their dosages rapidly reduced without being offered effective alternatives, leaving them to either suffer terribly, commit suicide, or seek relief on the streets. This has happened despite the release of numerous guidelines recommending use of non-drug therapies, including the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, the National Pain Strategy, the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Report, the American College of Physicians guidelines for treatment of low back pain and others.
Perlin says, “There are dozens of safe, effective pain treatments that physicians and patients don’t know about, and health insurers won’t cover. This needs to change or the numbers of people suffering and dying will continue to escalate.”
That’s why Perlin created the online Alternative Pain Treatment Directory. “We’ve been building the Directory for over five years. It has hundreds of articles, recommended products and provider listings. We invite patients, healthcare providers, health insurers and policymakers to visit the Directory to learn about safe and effective pain care and to partner with us to end the dual epidemics of chronic pain and opioid addiction.”