Docs Thinking Twice about Pain Pills

If you’ve been prescribed opioids for pain such as Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycontin you might want to talk to your physician. Soon.

I read an extremely alarming article today about opioids that are diagnosed for chronic pain. They are some of the most prescribed drugs, as physicians prescribe them in 15-20% of patient visits, and 4 million Americans are currently taking them. However, not only is there lacking evidence to support taking them long-term, but there is also evidence of harm from taking them.

“Unfortuantely, the use of prescription opioids currently results in more deaths in the United States due to intoxication than heroin and cocaine combined,” saysDr. Mitchell H. Katz, a co-author of editorial, in a podcast. “That’s shocking.”

And scary. He goes on to say that they are a “public health problem,” killing as many as 12,000 people each year. His suggestion for a long-term solution to pain? Physical therapy or yoga. Finally, a doctor who is suggesting that a body designed to move actually DO SO. You can’t expect to pop a pill and cure yourself. You’ll simply be masking the pain, and the long-term risks associated with those pills just isn’t worth it.

QUESTION: If  you have been prescribed opioids like those listed above, have you experienced any negative side effects?