Today, opioids are being prescribed for all different types of pain. You may be coming into the hospital for an injury and walk out with a prescription that leads to opioid addiction or eventual overdose. The Huffington Post talks about how hospitals are trying harder to prescribe fewer opioids to avoid addiction affecting the lives of patients.

Dane Fischer’s Story

31-year-old personal trainer, Dane Fischer, tore his ACL during a soccer game. Orthopedic surgeon Kirk Campbell at NYU Langone Health had discovered that it was possible to replace all or most opioids with non-habit-forming medications to lower the chances of long-term opioid abuse. This could also solve the unintended flow of opioid pills falling into the hands of communities. Fischer was released with a prescription for one oxycodone pill a day for 10 days after surgery with no refills which would be enough for his next follow-up appointment. Then, those opioids would be replaced with nonaddictive drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. 

Preventing Extra Prescription Pills in Circulation

Dr. Charla Fischer, a spine surgery expert at NYU Langone Health, notices that opioid addiction is not necessarily from the patient’s own prescription, but from the prescriptions of family members that they got into. At NYU Langone, patients are not given opioid refills without a follow-up appointment, giving doctors the opportunity to figure out why they are asking for more such as for ongoing pain or they are developing a dependency. Instead of just simply giving that patient more opioids, they are given alternative methods like deep breathing exercises or acupuncture. 

The Need for Change

Efforts have been made in the past for low opioid treatment plans. In 2013,  at the University of Virginia Health System, they discovered that it was possible to cut opioid consumption by 80% in favor of nonaddictive medications without providing the patient with discomfort. It is now used throughout their system. There are still many surgeons overprescribing pills where Medicare data by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Kaiser Health News says that thousands of doctors sent patients home with dozens of opioid pills, even 100, for surgeries that may cause less postoperative pain. Since the U.S. holds 80% of the world’s opioid supply, it is important to change the culture surrounding overprescribing opioids. Implementing more non-addictive tools to better manage pain can make a difference in stopping the opioid epidemic.

At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.